A Plea to President Glover and the Administration of TSU
By Shayla Simmons
In the four years I’ve had the pleasure of attending Tennessee State University, I’ve witnessed the triumphs and the pitfalls of our beloved HBCU. But in recent months, I’ve come to understand that this institution has fallen on a time of great struggle. Worse, this struggle is unknown to those that can make the most difference- the alumni of Tennessee State University and the Jefferson Street community.
President Glover and the entire administration of TSU are responsible for creating an “iron curtain” of whitewashed information for the public, creating a false sense of success. But the truth is that this administration is struggling to produce an environment conducive to higher learning.
In the months leading up to this semester, several students, myself included, were faced with issues regarding housing and financial aid. Upperclassmen have been housed in freshmen dorms because of unfit conditions in several on-campus apartment units. Those currently housed in apartment units have also reported mold and plumbing issues. I can not speak for students currently housed on-campus, but I must remind readers of the student protest held last year because of the living conditions in the Wilson dormitory.
Yet, as the homecoming festivities approached, students noticed new furniture in the campus library (when there were no complaints of the previous furniture) and decals pasted on broken elevators.
The situation for our learning conditions is just as bleak.
Across academic departments, there has been a noticeable lack of professors, creating larger class sizes as well as barring a number of students from taking mandatory classes due to unavailable staff. Both students and teachers alike have suffered under these conditions. Several faculty members have expressed issues with the administration, from low pay to unavailable resources.
The students of TSU hold a fierce loyalty to their HBCU, as they should. But this loyalty has created a fear of tarnishing the reputation of TSU. That has cost the student body their rights as students to livable conditions and an acceptable learning atmosphere.
I am not trying to insult the administration or insult the legacy of TSU. Rather, I implore those in charge to make better decisions with the student body in mind, not the judging eyes of the public.
The TSU motto is “Think. Work. Serve.” But our institution is making it difficult for us to live up to this standard.
I beg President Glover and the administration to live up to the excellent standards that have been set. Give us the resources we need to have stimulating classrooms. Provide us with more teachers that can aid our networks and assist us in reaching our career aspirations.
As a graduating senior, I have a responsibility to future students of Tennessee State. And I will use this platform to call for the implementation of the changes we need to see.
The ball is now in your court.