As a part of the body that makes up the Elmhurst College community, we deserve a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions. It is just common courtesy.
EC is considering changing its name from Elmhurst College to Elmhurst University or University of Elmhurst. The faculty will be voting in December with the results of their vote being revealed in February, and the Board of Trustees will make its absolute and unchanging decision in March or June.
What is missing from this process is any disclosure to the students that this is happening, let alone consultation of the students opinion on the matter. We deserve to at the very least to know what is going on.
Since the beginning of the year, faculty have had open forums to discuss the matter. Where is the student open forum?
What will the name change bring? Will the school have to rebrand every single item and advertisement that says “Elmhurst College” on it? What happens to those who already have degrees from EC? Is the money for that going to come from our tuition or from the Board of Trustees? If the money comes from us, why should the board have a final say, regardless of how the students feel?
These questions may not be questions that are even on the table, but students would not know.
It appears that the students who are aware of the upcoming vote are those who are student leaders that work closely with administrators, those who have professors who talk openly in class of it, and those who have heard it in rumors.
Some teachers have gone so far as to survey their students on their opinions to influence and better gauge how they should vote. SGA has also disclosed this information in an SGA legislature meeting.
While this is useful, this responsibility does not fall on faculty or student leaders; it falls on the administration, and they need to pick up the slack.
As attendees of EC, formal notification that such a change is being considered is just a decent and respectful thing to do and also the bare minimum, as we should have a say in which direction EC votes in.
It is just plain rude to keep us in the dark, and there is no indication that the school itself plans on changing that.
In the meantime, The Leader has created a survey for alumni and students so there is at least some record of our opinions for the BOT to consider. Students and alumni can find the survey on our website ecleader.net and on all Leader social media platforms.