Editorial: The Review’s how Assanis the Grinch stole our undergraduate education

Casey Orledge/THE REVIEW
President Dennis Assanis the Grinch is swooping in to steal, not your Christmas holiday, but rather the undergraduate education all the Cindy Lou Whos on campus are working so hard for.

This year, President Dennis Assanis the Grinch came early. On the outskirts of Newark, in a large house on Kent Way, lives a Grinch who plans on not ruining the Christmas holiday for all citizens of the town, but much worse — ushering in a new future of so-called graduate glory — a future, in which, undergraduate studies are conspicuously absent as a priority.

Assanis the Grinch made a quick black suit and grey tie — fit for the president of a university. And he chuckled, and clucked. What a great Grinchy trick! Throughout the semester, Assanis the Grinch made several stops with the purpose of plucking away at and preventing an undergraduate Festivus.

The Review takes some time to present a semester, in review.

Throughout the fall 2017 semester, the administration was inadequate in its approach to communication and transparency. On Oct. 18, the university was slow to notify the student population to the possible threat of an active shooter. A man killed six people in a shooting spree that took place over the course of two states, Delaware and Maryland. The manhunt focused on New Castle County, Del. The university did not send out an UD Alert until 6:35 p.m., nearly 12 hours after the first instance of the shooting spree.

On Oct. 10, students noticed an antisemitic flyer posted by Kirkbride Hall. The university did not send an email to the student population. The university did not use an UD Alert to notify the student population of the prejudicial and hateful poster. Later that day, however, Assanis the Grinch chose to only contact students listed on the Hillel electronic mailing list, implicitly suggesting that antisemitism is just a Jewish problem. Assanis the Grinch consciously chose to not initiate a dialogue with its perpetrators and potentially, the recruited. The student population was not alerted of the incident until The Review reported on it.

Assanis the Grinch likes to hide the truth, whenever possible. His administration refuses to release information to the student population, until of course, his administration absolutely has to! The Office of Communications and Marketing never truly reveal just exactly what the university budget, hundreds of millions of dollars, is allocated toward. How can the student population evaluate the university and our undergraduate education if we are never truly given access to information?

In October, there was the multicultural center. Initially, the administration planned on electing three student representatives. This university serves a student population of roughly 20,000. There would have been no input from the other 19,997 students, whatsoever.

The last ornament on the Christmas tree is the Provost Search Committee. This person is ultimately responsible for constructing academic policy. Most recently, Assanis the Grinch told the Faculty Senate that he was committed to overseeing a Provost Search Committee that adequately represented faculty and students alike. Not the case. The only single undergraduate student on the Provost Search Committee is Natalie Criscenzo, president of Student Government Association (SGA). But SGA has its own baggage.

SGA has been painfully ineffective and largely incompetent. No single meaningful legislation has passed in SGA. Not much has been successfully executed. Did you notice that our SGA did not hold elections? Instead of upholding democracy, SGA appointed new members like a third-rate dictatorship.

Criscenzo is not qualified to be the lone undergraduate student on the Provost Search Committee.

Assanis the Grinch should be held accountable for stealing our undergraduate education. It is up to us, the Cindy Lou Whos of the university, to stand up to Assanis the Grinch. Perhaps one day, Assanis the Grinch’s heart will grow three sizes. But, perhaps not. Either way, undergraduate students are here to stay.

Editorials are developed by The Review’s Editorial Board, jointly led this week by Copy Desk Chief Olivia Mann and Investigative Editor Jacob Orledge. Olivia Mann can be reached at omann@udel.edu and Jacob Orledge can be reached at orledgej@udel.edu.

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    Jack Lyons 1 year

    Assanis is just a symptom of the overall bigger problem facing academia. They’re turning our university into a Ponzi scheme. Freshman year I was forced to live in a Triple in a room that was built to be a double. This year I cannot even sit in Trabant during the day because theres too many people! Every year for the past 3 years, the incoming freshman class has been UD’s largest. Assanis and the rest of the administrators don’t care about our issues, they are only worried about their enrollment numbers and collecting their 7 figure checks. The writing is on the walls, an undergraduate degree is no longer what it used to be. They should be working on how to create value for us students when we graduate with $70,000 in debt and no job opportunities. But alas, our fearless leaders are only working to exasperate the issue by accepting more and more students. It really is sad to see what was a bastion of learning, free thought and civil discourse become a bureaucratic mess who’s sole purpose is not to serve us students, but to keep them propped up in their ivory towers.

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