I am an H. To those of you who don’t know what that means, my original UR e-mail address was sb009h, I was in the class of ’02. I owed the school money and it took me a while to pay it back, but I’ve been hanging around all the while. When I was a freshman there was only one thing said about UR students – they’re all apathetic. I’ve seen freshman housing, I’ve seen the creation of Meliora Weekend from the shambles of Parents and Alumni Weekends, and I’ve seen D-day become boring and over politicized. I have seen every attempt by the administration to make us an active and concerned student body. The truth is I never really saw the effect in person. That is, until I started collecting signatures in an attempt to save the Sanskrit program and Professor Jonathan Geen’s job in the Department of Religion and Classics. When I began this effort on Feb. 1, I was expecting to gather 200 signatures from students who would “sign anything put before them.” What I encountered however was great concern in the student body. As I started asking for signatures I found students who were “appalled that they would get rid of a great professor like Dr. Geen,” students who were “angry that I won’t be able to take Sanskrit when I have room in my schedule next semester.” The students of UR are not apathetic – we are concerned with the quality of education provided here. 580 people signed the petition to save the Sanskrit program. What I, as one of the creators of the petition see now, ironically, is the apathy of the administration. The administration does not see itself as a first-class provider of education – it sees itself as a business. Furthermore, it does not see Sanskrit and Geen as pivotal parts of a high quality education, it sees them as a line in a budget. We attend a university that is willing to pay a king’s ransom to provide crippled mp3s to the undergraduate body while at the same time robbing us of our education. This is unacceptable. Geen has one of the highest course review ratings in the university and is much beloved of his students in Sanskrit and his other courses – Storytellers of India, Striving for Perfection and Science and Religion. To remove a teacher of his caliber is not only a disservice to those of us studying Indian culture. It is a disservice to each and every one of us at UR. I believe the administration needs to ask itself if “Meliora” means always improving the university, or if it means always improving the bottom line. My heart says the first, but my experience and my direct loan statements prove the latter. Brown can be reached at sbrown@campustimes.org.



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