Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Wichita State University Student Government Association rebels against a bought-out and negligent President, John Bardo
By SJ Otto
The Wichita State University Student Government Association, the elected student body, has delivered a vote of “no confidence” to the school’s President, John Bardo. This vote passed by a 20-4-7 vote, according to The Sunflower, WSU’s student newspaper.
The resolution defines a vote of no confidence as “A motion made when most of the members of a parliament or other organization say that they feel that their leader is no longer competent to lead.”
The reason for this vote includes cases in which reports of rape, domestic violence, and sexual assault were allegedly covered up or ignored by the university, the perceived neglect on the part of the administration regarding issues of black, trans, gay and Muslim students and Bardo and his administration of failing to participate in shared governance of the institution and not providing adequate student representation to decisions for the university.
On the last issue the students cites the issue as an example of the administration placing the will of private business over that of students. The Idiot Factor has reported on the encroachment of business influences and interference, including that from the Koch Brothers, on the WSU campus, citing articles from The Sunflower, most recently with “Koch brothers helped create a “culture of fear” at Wichita State University”.
Evan Pflugradt, Editor-in-Chief of The Sunflower, wrote, “Concerns of outside influence on university decisions threatening the academic freedom and a lack of coordination with student government fed their case.”
This action was promoted by a group known as We The Students. This group recently staged a sit-in outside of Bardo’s office and presented a list of demands. Clearly this was more than just outside influences and business interference. Bardo has shown a lot of insensitivity to the desires and needs of the students. He has also ignored concerns of safety regarding sexual assaults and rape. And he has been negligent of minority needs. In the SGA actual resolution, a lot of statistics were given to show just how badly WSU has neglected the needs of minority students.
Right now there are a lot of factional bickering going on at the WSU campus. Associate VP of Student Affairs Christine Schneikart-Luebbe resigned this week right after the resignation of Eric Maki, director of campus recreation. Student Body Vice President Taben Azad was removed from his role as Election Commissioner.
The WSU administration has taken its students for granted and they are not taking it. The big test is what the University will do in response to the “no confidence” vote. Will they remove Bardo, as they should, or will they just ignore the students and try and sweep this under the rug? I don’t think the students will just sit back and allow him to sweep this issue away.
Pix by The Sunflower.