Topic

Colleges and Universities

395 petitions

Update posted 21 hours ago

Petition to Arthur F. Golden, '66, Kareem I. Muhammad ’01

Retain Student Control Over the Rensselaer Union

On September 27, 2017, Chairman of the RPI Board of Trustees, Arthur F. Golden '66, J.D., sent a message to the RPI community. Following three unsuccessful attempts, beginning in 2016, to remove student control from the historic Rensselaer Student Union, Arthur F. Golden informed the RPI community that RPI President, the Honorable Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., had been granted the sole authority with respect to "...any decisions on the hiring, formal reporting line, removal, and other terms and conditions of employment of the Director of the Union," effectively disregarding any power the Rensselaer Union Constitution and Student Government once had.  Students were not consulted about these changes.  For the first time in 127 years, the successfully student-run Rensselaer Union has ceased to be operated by students. Yes, the building is still there, the clubs, organizations, and intramural sports still exist, services like banking and dining remain operational, and study spaces and meeting rooms are available, but the student experience will soon become a shell of what it once was. There will be no more freedom, no more meaningful choices, no more risk-taking opportunities like starting a club or hosting a specific event, no real say in what matters.   The student experience born from a student-run union and treasured by so many RPI alumni and students may soon no longer exist.  Students will not have the power or control to shape the present and future of their Union.  The RPI community must unite and fight before our beloved cornerstone of the student experience is lost forever! Please sign and share this petition if you disagree with the Board of Trustees’ recent decisions to give Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson unilateral control over the Director of the Union position and to allow the Union Constitution and 127 years of Rensselaer Union tradition to be trampled.  Let’s send the RPI Administration and Dr. Jackson a collective message of our own: our unwavering support of a student-run Rensselaer Union. Visit www.renewrensselaer.org and www.savetheunion.xyz for the most up-to-date content.

Stephen VanRensselaer
5,480 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Oberlin Alumni Office

Create scholarship fund and award B.M. degree for Austin bombing victim Draylen Mason

On the 12th of March 2018, Double Bassist and East Austin College Prep senior Draylen Mason was killed by a terrorist’s bomb in Austin, Texas. While only seventeen years of age, Draylen devoted his life to the pursuit of music: he was the Bassist at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Principal Double Bass at Austin youth Orchestra, and Principal Bassist at Austin Soundwaves, and had even applied to study at the Oberlin conservatory of Music as a member of the class of 2022. This past Friday we found out he had been accepted. While the majority of the targets were people of color, and while the bomber was a conservative white Christian male, the investigating agencies have yet to uncover the exact reason why he targeted who he did. What we do know is that Oberlin and its students have a rich history in the fight against inequality and racism in the United States. Our college played a role in the Underground Railroad; one of the earliest Obies, Mary Jane Patterson, broke gender and racial barriers by getting her bachelor’s degree; and Oberlin students spent their summers and winter terms working to register voters with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party during the Freedom Summers. And yet, we also know that people of color continue to be appallingly underrepresented in the musical arts. A student who was clearly up for the challenge, Draylen would have been entering the world of music without many mentors who look like him. His entry into musical academia would in itself be a radical action, and for his sake, and for those who are put off by the lack of representation, this needs to change. As a proud Oberlin Conservatory Alumnus, and person of color in the arts industry, I call on the Oberlin Conservatory of Music to recognize Draylen Mason and his family’s struggle by awarding him a Posthumous Bachelor of Music Degree. But most importantly, I challenge them to set up a fully funded scholarship in his name (with the permission of his family) for people of color to attend the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, continuing our institution’s role in changing the status quo around race in our profession, and our country. Sincerely, Joshua Blue Oberlin Conservatory of Music Class of 2016

Joshua Blue
26,282 supporters
This petition won 2 weeks ago

Petition to Jerome Webster, John Kasich, Kathleen S. Tighe, Rob Portman, Sherrod Brown, Steven Arndt, Marcy Kaptur, Heath Martin, Randall McCullough, Dr. Jennifer Spielvogel, Nanci Kosanka, Amy Anway, Ellen Wardzala, Jeffery Huffman, Ohio State Senate

Stop Terra State Community College's unethical behaviors!

Terra State Community College has unethically practiced lying to their students to collect FAFSA & out of pocket student money; while I was trying to enroll to further my education there, I was a person this happened to. This is something everyone needs to be aware of, so they won't do this to future students! After signing up for classes at TSCC, I was forced to withdrawal after finding out from the financial aid department that I was not going to be eligible for aid. The woman working the financial aid center proceeded to tell me I was still in period to drop classes and I would not be penalized for the rest of the semester’s tuition. So essentially she explained that the drop period was the same thing as the refund period, misleading and outright lying to me. She even went as far to pull up their calendar to point out I had a few days left to “drop my classes without being penalized financially, with the exception of not receiving my original first months payment to the school”. Seeing as this was her job, to give me the best advice for my situation, I did what she advised and dropped from my classes because I knew I would not have enough money to pay out of pocket. Returning the next semester, with my FAFSA already approved, I was told I could not register for classes because my school account was on a hold. I was then instructed to file an appeal to the school. I did so, twice. Come to find out, ironically enough, my first appeal was never filed. Somehow the school “lost it”. Literally months went by without getting any return response from Terra Community College. No response from either appeal I filed, and of course nothing back from any of the phone calls I made up to the institution asking for answers. Trying to get anything back from the school I then contacted Jerome Webster. After explaining the situation, I guess Doctor Webster had decided that it wasn't worth his time and immediately passed it off to Cory Stine: Vice President of Institutional Advancement. I was contacted by Mr. Stine one time in total, when I was unavailable at work. He left me a message with his contact information and I was never able to get into contact with him. Every time I called his secretary would say that Mr. Stine was unavailable or that he was going to be out of the office for extended periods of time. I left countless messages trying to receive a return phone call, but it never came. The last time I had called Mr. Stine's office was the day I was told he would be back from a two week absence and when I called that day I was informed he would be unavailable for another week. Finally, I decided this was unacceptable and I wanted to speak with someone that day! I did receive a phone call, from Terra's financial aid department. Once again I explained the situation and the woman on the other end of the phone laughed. She went on to say that “it was impossible that had happened and that I should have known that my financial aid wasn't going to go through, I should have thought about not being able to afford classes that before enrolling at their institution, and this was now your (my) problem”. It’s not only frustrating to not only be belittled by someone whose literal job is to advise students financially, but to also be called a liar. That's absolutely unacceptable. A few more months went by. Obviously I was unable to continue my education at Terra, so I selected another institution to follow through with my studies. When transferring to my current institution, Ohio Business College required information from Terra to complete my new financial aid. Again, hesitant to even talk to anyone at Terra, I called up to the school. Speaking to someone, who I believe was part of the records department, I was told that I could not have access to any of my school information; violating my FERPA rights. For a second time, I emailed Terra's president Doctor Webster. This time he pawned me off on Heath Martin Dean of Students and Enrollment. While he did provide me with the correct documentation and a phone conference to discuss the events of what had happened, he failed to resolve ‘my problem’ that was caused by Terra's faculty. Speaking with Mr. Martin, he essentially summed up for me that it's acceptable for their employees to lie and swindle students, having no reasoning as to why it was ok that their financial aid department either 1. Lied to me or 2. Did not have the sufficient knowledge to accurately guide students in making important financial decisions. Therefore, this leaves TSCC at fault because regardless of how you look at it their faculty was not correctly doing their job. He then continued on to tell me he had signed documentation from an orientation in which I never attended. Wanting a copy of this information, and knowing I’m in a tight financial situation being a single unemployed mother, he maliciously told me that I would have to pay for any of the paperwork I had filed with the school. I was set up by this school to be swindled out of my money. When a student goes to a financial aid department at a school, they should be able to confidently trust what they are being told. This was not the case at Terra State Community College. To try and settle this once and for all I filed with the Department of Education. They dismissed my case, and I learned quite a few shocking things. 1. I was eligible for aid that semester. I was lead to believe that I would not have any funds to be dispersed by TSCC's financial aid the day I withdrew from my classes.  2. Either the TSCC financial aid worker was not educated for their job, or they intentionally mislead me to believe that the drop period was what the school considers to be a refund period. When I unenrolled for classes they described the drop period as "a period where the student would not be held accountable for the remaining tuition. Although, would not receive the first month's payment towards classes back". Seeing as the academic calendar used states NOTHING about a refund period on the single sheet of paper they cherry picked from their handbook, in addition to the 29 other students (now 30 students in total- including myself) & 2 former financial aid employees that have now come forward to say very similar instances have occurred, I believe it's safe to say TSCC is intentionally practicing fraud. I beg you to hear this story. Help me stop what this school is doing; it's wrong. A school should help try to better it's students, not treat them like disposable pieces of garbage. TSCC needs to be held accountable & responsible for their actions. They need to acknowledge all of these students they have wronged and not only apologize but make things right by keeping their word. Respect, honesty, and integrity are core values I take very seriously. For TSCC to be an institution that claims to have values of "relationships, learning, integrity, and innovation", they should really re-evaluate calling a group of people trying to better their education "liars" when they are indeed actually the ones at fault. Thank you so much for your time! http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/news/local-news/2018/04/students-claim-unethical-actions-by-terra-state/ https://failedleadershiprevealed.com/

Kristen Todd
293 supporters