Students Protest Ohio University Policies

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Some Ohio University students are not satisfied with the representation they have at the university.

Last Thursday marked a day of student protest for more than 80 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada, including Ohio University.

Members from Ohio Student Power and STAND Against Genocide held a rally on College Green to address the rising cost of college education with a particular interest in the current rules surrounding the Board of Trustees.

STAND Against Genocide member Ellie Hamrick takes issue with the lack of diversity on the current board.

“If you look at the board it’s mostly just old white men. I think there are two women on the board and only one minority.” Hamrick says, “but if you think about who is paying for our education, we pay twice as much as the state of Ohio does and we pay the largest single percentage and yet we only have two members on this large board.”

The protest comes as the influential Ohio House Bill 377 is set to go before the legislature.

The current codes allow for student trustees to meet with board members, but not to vote.

HB 377 amends the existing code and would permit student trustees voting rights as well as full membership on the board and the ability to attend all board executive sessions.

Ohio Student Power organizer Jacob Chaffin says he believes university students are not fairly represented.

“Someone who doesn’t have [the student trustees'] interest at heart isn’t going to care what they have to say and vote based on that.” Chaffin adds, “They don’t have the same considerations. Only students can speak for students.”

However, Secretary of the Board Tom Davis commented on the current voting status of student trustees.

“I think its shown through [the board of trustee's] actions that they are committed with the students being fully engaged with everything except for voting.” Davis said. “Students are welcome to sit in on executive sessions and receive all materials voting members do and participate fully in the same things all governor appointees participate in.”