Refuse to rename the college
This petition had 3,621 supporters
You can't put a price tag on tradition. Paul Smith's College should NOT be renamed. Grateful for a hefty monetary donation but not for the ego trip associated with it. To all involved, please reconsider this decision.
I'm sure we've all donated money now and then. Where are our names? Then please let's rename to "Kelly Jen Marty Amy Lauren Marc Joe Bobby ..... Joan Weill Paul Smith's College". Flows off the tongue so easily.
By signing we are agreeing that renaming our college is ruining a tradition. Please hear us.
Dan Mayer's Open Letter on Behalf of all Interested Parties:
An Open Letter from the Community of Paul Smith's College:
Dear Paul Smith's College Board of Trustees and New York State Board of Regents,
We, the current students, alumni, friends, family, loved ones, visitors, and residents stand united today not as individuals but as Smitties for the greater Paul Smith's Community.
In the last 2 days, many people from the Paul Smith's Community have come out of the woodwork and had plenty of things to say about Thursday's announcement that Paul Smith's College is pursuing a formal name change to Joan Weill-Paul Smith's College. There has been vociferous expressions of gratitude toward Joan Weill's past contributions and equal parts solidarity for the future of Paul Smith's College.
A number of students, parents, friends and alumni of the Paul Smith's College community have expressed frustration, disappointment, and downright betrayal.
Many have taken their opinions to social media, mass media, and to anyone willing to listen in order to have their voice heard. Phone calls have been made, text has been posted online, and petitions signed. Several are planning on delivering their testimonials to the campus and administration in person.
All are ready to stand for what they believe in, and there is so much at stake. It is acknowledged that financial trouble has been brewing for some time and there have been a number of major changes and challenges at Paul Smith's College over the years. Ranging from the construction of multi-million dollar buildings to the controversial choices for seats on the Board of Directors, everyone has a different story to tell.
One thing has become clear, enough is enough. We write to you today because we are desperate, desperate to take back what is ours, desperate to take back what we deserve. There has been too much talking, and not enough listening. This is exactly the root of our complaints, and why we are standing up today.
As long-term members of the
Paul Smith's community, we know firsthand that we are fighting so that all members have their voice heard,
fighting so that alumni, friends, family, and students who are far too often marginalized can get their say with the promise of an open ear ready to receive it.
We are outraged not from the years of neglect and deaf ears, but from the brutal mutilation of the institution we know and love. Sure, we've accepted plenty of change over the years, and yes we haven't had too much to say about our beloved institution. This is mostly because of several reasons; core values were preserved, an excellent quality of education was received, top notch faculty and staff were retained, and we love the God given Adirondacks and shores of St. Regis. This is all very clear in our voices today. We are grateful for all of it, the brutal winters, the quiet black fly filled summers, and our magnificent donors. Thank God for all of it!
With all this love, it's easy to forget that we have freedom of speech and
freedom to disagree with decisions about the place we are so blindly infatuated with. This is exactly what
the college's administrators and board of directors are capitalizing on.
Many have not paused to ask themselves why our community is now drawing our line in the sand.
Well, we are embarrassed on behalf of our alma mater. We, for too long, ignored years of hardship and just accepted things for how they are, and not how they should be. It is not because we disrespect the generosity of Joan Weill, in fact we embrace it. It's so flattering that an outsider, someone with a comparatively small connection to our tight knit community would take such an interest in our tiny sanctuary. In fact, that is exactly what has opened up our eyes.
All of our problems have been brought to the attention of the public eye, and we are getting a lot more attention than what we are used to. Plenty of people will shrug their shoulders and turn their backs, assuming it's just another drop in the bucket from the leaking faucet that used to be known as Paul Smith's College.
However, we have accepted enough embarrassment on behalf of Paul Smith's College. We are definitely not embarrassed about being Smitties of Paul Smith's College. We are proud. Therefore, we reject this name change and any other name change that strikes at our core and our very being, our downright existence. Our eyes are open, and enough is enough.
The members of our community who have been emailing the president, bombarding the state regents' inbox, and ringing phones off the hook aren't happy the proposed name change. We are not ready to step aside and let this happen without our voices being heard.
Until the board of directors listens to what we have to say, and we start correcting these travesties, we cannot and will not stop.
The Community of Paul Smith's College
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