Students voice their concerns to Board of Trustees about recent decisions

President Roderick McDavis speaks to the Board of Trustees at their recent meeting. The board recently developed resolutions that students are unhappy with. (Maggie Rotanz | For The Post)

After about 50 students gathered on College Green and surrounded the Ohio University Board of Trustees’ bus Thursday, three OU Student Union members got a few words in to the trustees.

Following Friday’s general Board of Trustees meeting, three representatives from the OU Student Union — Caitlyn McDaniel, Megan Marzec and Jacob Chaffin — met with Trustee Chairwoman Sandra Anderson and Vice Chair David Brightbill to discuss their demands regarding recent resolutions.

The students discussed their desires to end the OHIO Guarantee, the Lausche heating plant replacement and pay raises to administrators, said Jacob Chaffin, a member of Student Union and a senior studying education.

“The trustee leadership enjoyed a healthy dialogue concerning their shared interests in Ohio University’s future, including matters of higher education affordability, educational quality and mutual concern for a clean and healthy environment,” said Peter Mather, board secretary, in an email. “While there may not always be agreement on the means for meeting these goals, the trustees look forward to considering views from a wide range of university constituents as we move forward together in the best interest of Ohio University.”

The board passed a resolution Friday to send a detailed OHIO Guarantee plan to the Ohio Board of Regents chancellor for approval.

Student Union argued that although the guaranteed tuition concept will provide students a flat rate they can expect, it does not provide alleviation to student debt and will provide the university with more reason to blame students in debt for financial irresponsibility.

The board also legally voted to give raises to OU President Roderick McDavis and his wife, Deborah.

With this resolution — which was originally called into question by The Columbus Dispatch after the board’s November meeting — McDavis will receive an increase of $16,270 and a bonus of $62,250, and Deborah will receive an increase of $1,209.

Before the resolution passed, three trustees commended the president on his work during his last evaluation period, citing enrollment success and the OHIO Guarantee as accomplishments.

“If we don’t recognize and compensate, whether it’s faculty, whether it’s administration, we take the risk of losing someone that’s very valuable to us,” said Trustee Cary Cooper.

The board did not pass any resolutions regarding the Lausche Heating Plant replacement since the November meeting, but the three students were also concerned that Stephen Golding, vice president for finance and administration, and the board had contradictory talking points in regard to the subject, Chaffin said.

After the students told the trustees their demands, the board responded by discussing the transparency that OHIO Guarantee provides students and parents, Chaffin said.

“They told us their regular talking points, which we kind of expected,” Chaffin said.
The board also suggested the students pass their concerns to Student Senate and Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi.

“We told them that we have done that, that those avenues are dead ends, and we don’t want to do that anymore,” Chaffin said.


This article appeared in print under the headline "Student Union speaks out."

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