Letter to the editor

Sarah Weiss

“Villanova University to arm its police force,” headlines Susan Snyder’s Philadelphia Inquirer article.

Do you feel like a part of that Villanova?

Regardless of how you feel about the announcement to transform Public Safety into a trained, armed force, I believe we, the student body, were not served well in the decision-making process. 

Villanova should mean every student.

Only half of the current student body had the opportunity to attend the community forums in the fall of 2013. At this time, the University was in the infant stages of the process. I attended the first forum. No data had been collected. Few questions could be answered. Anxieties about the current mistrust of Public Safety and the predicted perilous shift in campus culture poured from the community’s microphone. Especially with this initial response, more information should have been presented to students and with students in the past two years. Father Peter’s email referenced these forums and the survey a couple times as ways the student voice was adequately heard. I will not fall for this charade.

Villanova should let us know how students feel.

Father Peter, the Board of Trustees and the University’s task force had access to survey results, and these numbers, or some indication of them, should be released. What is the harm—that a majority of students were not in favor of the change?

Villanova should demand more from the people who make decisions for us and about us.

Instead, administrators, faculty and staff from our parents’ generation or older are almost exclusively deciding on the lives of seven thousand 18-22 year olds. We go here. We live here. We are accountable for who we hold accountable.

At the very least, we should expect Villanova to let us know, truthfully, how we have been heard, what our voice says, and who we can talk to if we ever feel disappointed in how we have been represented throughout the process.

I am disappointed. If you are too, please, speak out respectfully, creatively and strongly—in hopes of feeling represented by every use of Villanova.