Thursday, February 17, 2011

Torn

(We are writing this on the 16th- but won't post it until a full night's sleep on it- so you will likely see it on the 17th or later.)
We're torn-we don't really cover stories about individual students, news stories that involve students etc. That kind of stuff is for the student run newspapers (and sometimes the comments sections on those stories-the way students talk about and to each other is pretty cruel, jus' sayin'.)
We cover the Regents and Senior "Management" decisions at UC, (sometimes that includes the faculty)--basically, people who claim to be seasoned professionals, those who frequently state that they are deserving of being compensated at "market rates" and above --and the "quality, performance" that results, or doesn't.Generally speaking, we comment on stories that have repercussions for UC system-wide - and stuff said about UC's image outside of the UC system- that's the kind of stuff we take an interest in about our alma mater...We tend to compile the negative news stories on UC- times when the quality and performance raise concern- 'cause those stories are often buried,swept under, brushed over or it needs to be put in context and connected to the management, history. Regents and senior management tend to act like they have no institutional memory of botched operations that keep repeating throughout the system, that's why we compile the less than pleasant stuff.(UC PR teams are sure to cover the positive press-- so, it's all good.)

So right now, we are torn on whether or not to cover recent stories involving the Student Regent. Because first and foremost, he is a student. For instance, we made no reference to previous personal stories about him posted on HuffPo. Yet, when those particular stories came out we were concerned about the added exposure for him-- because it occurred shortly after his taking a high profile position as regent. And, we remain concerned for any student who sits at the table with the Regents- for obvious reasons- a lot of powerful interests sitting at that table. There are add'l challenges for any student elevated to a higher profile within the community. Athletes generally get counseled on it. We hope the student regents are fully and properly counseled and groomed on how to handle these demands by some unbiased, thoughtful resource and that they have the ear of well intentioned folks when they need help coping with the demands.

So, what to do? Do we cover it? Well, we have referred to the student-regent's blog and comments in the past so...here are the news stories on it: here and here and this too.

We don't know the final facts. We don't know those involved.
We send our hopes, intentions, wishes for peace and healing for all concerned.
Everyone, please have a care in covering this and in commenting on it.

The only position we will take on this is the following: 12 Year Appointed UC Regents specifically must operate with transparency and a very high ethical standard precisely for moments like these- so that they can provide an example and stability to the UC system in troubled times, and to their colleagues (like the Student Regent,Faculty Reps, Staff Advisors, their designates etc.) who sit at the table with them during Regent meetings- this is precisely why we try to point out when the Regents don't meet that leadership standard.

Coincidentally, Feb 17th-today- is the deadline for applying to be the next UC student regent. If you are a UC student considering applying don't be deterred if you are so inclined- it is a necessary and important role- just do it with eyes wide open.

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