In our final editorial of the fall 2017 semester, we asked President Liebowitz to take student schedules into account when hosting important meetings on Brandeis’ future. In the editorial titled, “Transparency cannot be in name only,” we expressed appreciation for Liebowitz’s efforts to expand transparency by sharing summaries of Board of Trustees meetings and hosting a series of open meetings. We argued, however, that transparency is of little value if students and other members of the community are unable to access it.
Shortly before the break, administrators hosted a meeting on university finances, and Liebowitz led a session on the future of Brandeis. At this meeting, he spoke about obstacles the university faces, including financial constraints and deferred maintenance, as well as the school’s institutional identity and ongoing campus projects. These events were held at 11 a.m. on a Wednesday and 12 p.m. on a Tuesday, very common times for students to have class. Though there were many employees present, only a few students attended.
In the coming weeks, Brandeis will host a second round of open meetings on the future of Brandeis. There will be two events, the first on Wednesday Jan. 24 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and the second on Wednesday, Feb. 14 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. We appreciate the university for making these presentations more accessible, but now it is the responsibility of the student body to attend and take advantage of this opportunity to become educated about our school.
Students deserve a role in shaping the future of our school, but we must be active in asserting this role. We thank the administration for organizing meetings at a time that is more accessible to students, but now it is our turn—to share ideas and to be informed about the administrative policies that affect student life. We must come to open meetings and forums prepared to listen, question and engage.