By Huda Jabbar —

In November 2017, the board of trustees announced the search for our new president would be closed.

In order to soothe the crowds, they introduced the idea of listening tours and open forums for students, faculty and staff to respond.

The first of the tours were Jan. 17 and 18 and the forums are available, but with the search for the president underway, it’s hard to believe the board of trustees will consider the wants expressed throughout these sessions and public forums.

The listening tour held over 100 speakers who carried on the sentiment they felt the closed search was unfair to the students and faculty. These are the people that will be affected the greatest by the new president.

From personal experiences, it seems many students weren’t even aware of this process in selection or the fact that we currently do not have a permanent president, which plays into the favor of the trustees.

There is little we can do currently to be more involved. How could we? Between the closed searches and online forums, it should be no wonder our needs get pushed to second priority.

If we were allowed to be more involved with the process, the search might look a little different.

This selection process has stripped us of any and all power. Participating in listening tours was a waste of time if what we are saying is going in one ear and out the other.

We need to stop playing the games the administration are using to distract us and demand an open search. The future of our education heavily relies on this imperative decision.

We can no longer let the board stand in our way. Students and faculty need to be the people electing a president, one that suits our wants and needs.

We have this illusion of influence that means nothing. Instead of going to listening tours, we should be demanding attention.

The student body needs to organize as one unit so the board and the presidential search committee will truly listen to us.

The board of trustees doesn’t seem to care about the students and faculty, so let’s speak as one to get the president U of L needs.