University ‘blew it’ with Carter tix

By on October 10, 2007

During the third week of classes, my professor was reviewing the syllabus when she informed us that on Wednesday, Sept. 26 we would not have class in our regular classroom. Instead, we would resume class that day at the recreation center to listen to a speech by former President Jimmy Carter.

Needless to say, I was thrilled. Who wouldn’t be? As much as I love enriching my brain with new knowledge everyday, it was exciting to feel like I was skipping class for something better.

About a week before the speech, my professor informed our class that we would not be attending anymore because we were not chosen to have tickets.

That sparked an approximate 20-minute discussion in class and more information continued to pour out as to how administrators and deans had received their own tickets to hand out to “student leaders.”

Student leaders? A once-in-a-lifetime event was taking place at our school and a few administrators got to select several lucky students whose names they knew?

Don’t get me wrong – they most certainly had the right to attend, but I am a senior at Quinnipiac. Doesn’t that deem me a student leader? People look up to me. I am an active member in the Quinnipiac community. I am involved with Dance Company, the Chronicle, study abroad, work study and the MAT program.

These activities did not seem to hold a “high enough standard” in the eyes of administrators. What gave them the right to say I am not a student leader?

The air was buzzing with chatter between both students and professors who were outraged they were not given the option to see Carter in person. A few professors did not even know he was coming to speak.

In his interview with the Chronicle, David Ives, the executive director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute, said, “We felt that freshmen would benefit greatly from being exposed to him.”

I am sure many of them would, if only they were not forced to attend the speech in order to write a paper for a core curriculum class they are required to take.

This is not to say the freshmen are not worthy and the seniors should have “seniority.” But didn’t anyone think that maybe we would have wanted the option of going too?

In less than eight months, the senior class will be graduating. Many will be getting jobs, if they don’t already have one. Others will be attending graduate school. Whatever the case may be, the real world is approaching at a rapid pace. I know from personal experience that during my freshman year, yes, I would have thought it was “cool” that a former United States President was coming to visit, but I definitely did not know for example, what happened during his administration. Now we are older and more mature. Being able to listen to Jimmy Carter speak might just have “affected us throughout our careers” too. All we needed was for someone to give us the chance, and they blew it.


About Jennifer Dionisio