I am writing this article not to state what some may see as obvious, but rather to check the mode of operations which is so clearly lacking in quality. What I am gesturing at is the control and disposal of information supervised by administrations at academic institutions.

Of issues both social and political, it is important that the fulfillment of an academic administration’s duty to serve and cultivate student experience should be at the forefront of anyone’s concern, as our university can somewhat define the cultural sphere of our lives.

To provide, out of respect, a due explanation of the current state of affairs, I would like  to note that this letter is less of a critique of administration at the University of Rhode Island and more of an indicator which points towards our general historical direction as a society; a direction which is economically and individually motivated; a direction which does not necessarily value the profit of means but rather an end which is all-sustaining.

To respond to the latter information, it is now our duty to reflect and analyze its nature, so that our own collective interests are not diverted by the institutional sphere of power, of which duty I intend to enact presently. If, in doing so, it seems as though the presented information is abrasive in quality and personal in its execution, do not let it reflect on my own ethic as a writer and commentator, but rather, let it reflect in exactness the essence and character of the institutions which I am critiquing.

I would like, now, to highlight the process by which the current administration of URI addresses student affairs, the relationship with students it creates, and the effect it has in doing so. It is quite obvious to me that the administration has a prominent disposition, when faced with dissent and subversion, to cooperate fully and extend its resources only for, and towards, the sole purpose of containing the subversive narrative. This is a major problem because it directly diminishes the execution and sovereignty of student voices; consequently, ruining any notion that students have a valid forum to respond to student injustice.

For the purpose of maintaining objectivity, let us look at a recent article published in The Good Five Cent Cigar which represented student dissent. The article which I am referring to is entitled “URI creates new accommodations, plans due to student housing shortage.” The article is well written and covers the general issue which many students are currently dealing with – the scarcity of housing both on and off campus. However, what is notable is the administrative response to the coverage of the subject. When asked about the conception of the housing crisis, the response was that there was a record number of student applications and admissions for this academic year. Does one not think that the university would take into consideration available housing before admitting students? While addressing the fact that students were not given proper housing, a suggestion is made that students didn’t anticipate a lack of availability. Should a student have to anticipate availability of housing at an institution in which some may pay upwards of 40,000 dollars to attend? When asked about solutions to the crisis, URI attempted to comfort students in the announcement of tentative housing construction plans. But at what cost, and to what extent can this declaration be trusted? 

It is evident that the University does not feel comfortable in admitting and addressing its fallibility; rather, they feel that an adequate action is to displace blame on the actions of students who have entrusted in the administration their well-being and guidance. It is also evident that the administration wishes to control the narrative of the housing crisis in the same fashion which a business would enact, ultimately rendering their approach to student affairs as something which is economic and should provide for economic outcome.

At this point, I ask you: the reader, the student, the administrator, the professor, what is the common purpose of an academic institution? What do you make of its purpose? How do you represent and perpetuate it? Where do you see inequality, injustice, blatant ignorance? It is time, now more than ever, to act upon this information, to create the environment and culture which we all wish to be a part of collectively; to uplift and enlighten, to inspire and constantly improve.