Roughly two years ago, then-UB Vice President Dennis Black pleaded guilty to grand larceny and stealing $320,000 in state funds.
And just Monday, UB administrators decided that the same nonprofit which he used as his personal piggy bank should be the fiscal agent of student governments and hold millions of student dollars.
How about no.
UB, as we reported this week, is replacing Sub-Board I with the Faculty Student Association after an “administrative review” of SBI, which was founded by students in 1970. Administrators said they launched the review because SBI didn’t have an existing contract with UB, something that SBI members said they’ve been trying to get for years.
This is despicable.
The decision will eliminate some of SBI’s crucial services like free legal counsel for students, its Safety Shuttle, WRUB and an off-campus housing search service.
Many of us have used the Safety Shuttle on difficult nights.
Many of us have found, or know friends who have discovered their apartments through SBI’s housing portal.
And many of us have peers whose lives and career paths have drastically changed because of the real-world radio experiences they’ve had at WRUB.
The worst part about the proposed cuts is that UB vice presidents A. Scott Weber and Laura Hubbard did the absolute bare minimum.
They only spoke to some student government leaders and didn’t ask affected students about the services.
Instead administrators decided students didn’t need them.
But having “student life” in your title doesn’t make you a student.
Instead of focusing on the roughly 1,250 students who use the free legal counsel each year, they focused their review on student government members. And administrators said they won't have a replacement for free legal counsel under FSA, and advised numerous international students to go to International Student Services instead of offering a feasible alternative for students who might be facing immigration problems.
Weber and Hubbard wrote that “the university is not responsible to provide legal service to students for personal matters.”
Well, SBI currently is and created the service in the best interest of students.
And if UB can’t offer the same services, then maybe it's even more out of touch with student needs than we think.
Everything about this situation is discouraging, not only as students, but as students whose role it is to inform their fellow classmates.
And the more we find out through our peers reporting on it, the more discouraging it is.
We get that the students may not totally understand this situation or it may not even affect the average student.
But where will you go when you need legal help and can’t afford anything?
UB says you can afford it.
Where will you go when you’re stuck on South Campus drunk –– or in danger –– in the middle of the night?
UB says pay for an Uber.
And where will you go when you want hands-on radio experience?
UB doesn’t care.
We are glad those affected have written numerous letters to the editor for today’s issue and hope this trend continues.
Administrators may think they can squash student opinions and make decisions without seriously discussing it with the students involved.
But they're wrong.
We're discussing it now.
Editorial Editor Benjamin Blanchet was not involved in the writing or discussion of this editorial due to his involvement at WRUB.
The editorial board can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.