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moderator

38 Posts

Posted - 2006 February 02 :  16:59:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Morgan White-Smith wrote a comment criticizing the existence of this site. He wrote it in the cocaine investigation section of the site as no general forum existed at that time to comment on the existence of the site as a whole. His comment is therefore being reprinted here.
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I don't understand this site. It seems dedicated to damaging the reputation of St. John's College. If one is trying to change "systemic" problems in the college, I don't think that attempting to make the school look foolish in the press is the best way to do so. As a current senior at Santa Fe, I have never had a problem having open and genuine discussions with the Administration, even on the most sensitive of issues. By no means have I always agreed with the Administration, but I firmly believe that they have always acted in good faith concerning disciplinary issues. It saddens me that others have come to such different conclusions.
I respect everyone's right to voice their opinions, but feel that many of the issues on this site are overblown. I have attended two open meetings between students and administration this year, and NONE of these issues were raised. The only explanation I can find for this is that this site does not express feelings that are widely held within the Santa Fe community. Furthermore, it is my understanding that this site is the work of a single disgruntled former student with a personal grudge against the college. Perhaps I am wrong.
Finally, I would like to say that, in my opinion, St. John's is the best education money can buy. With three and a half years of experience at the Santa Fe campus, I can't imagine being happier. I sincerely hope that this site does not dissuade potential applicants from attending St. John's, nor discourage the generosity of the school's donors.

-Morgan White-Smith, SF '06

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Edited by - moewhite on 2006 February 02 16:29:00

A Certain Sad Case

9 Posts

Posted - 2006 February 03 :  09:42:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Morgan White-Smith needn't worry. There is no other secular college of which similar tales could not be told. If anything is embarrassing, it is that St. John's, which has always made extravagant character building claims for its curriculum, should have normal resort to administrative sanctions against its students rather than, say, telling them to reread some of those Great Books.
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moderator

38 Posts

Posted - 2006 April 04 :  16:14:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
gulliver says on collegeconfidential.com,
"I donít know how many of the college donors will stop giving money to the college as a result of student criticism, but I doubt that financial aid will be seriously affected. There will always be big foundations who give away large sums of money without paying too close attention to whatís going on at the place their money is being sent to. If a donor simply stopped giving money, then the administration would not know for certain that this is a response to their policies. It would be much more helpful to promote change if donors said that they wouldnít give money because of the way the administration conducts itself. The college has an endowment of nearly a hundred million dollars, and a few donors withholding money would probably not directly impact the school so much. If a donor decided not to give the school a hundred dollars this year, the financial impact on the school would be minor. A far more significant impact is that it would subject the administration to criticism, for the St. Johnís College administration cannot stand criticism.
"The relationship of stjohnsforum.com to St. Johnís College seems similar to the relationship between newspapers and government. Not only does it inform people about problems at the college but it also acts as a mirror to the administration. The more people are aware of school problems and the more people publicly discuss those problems, whether they agree or disagree with the school policies, the more the administration is forced to confront its own decisions. Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living, and the St. Johnís administration is not very introspective. St. Johnís College has existed for a long time, and many administrators have been charged with managing the college over the years. While there are many amazing things about a St. Johnís education, the current stewards of the school are damaging many studentsí experience at the college. What kind of people would put in the student handbook that a student can be dismissed merely for being undesirable? What kind of people finds it acceptable neither to give these students a reason for their dismissal nor to refund any of their money? What kind of people would conduct a harsh drug investigation followed by mass expulsions? What kind of people would tell one employee to spy on another? What kind of people would keep security guards who beat up students? What kind of people would bar a former student from campus for criticizing the administration on the internet and speaking to the Washington Post? All students at St. Johnís College are required to read and discuss the Bill of Rights during the junior year, yet the administration does not feel inspired to model their behavior on this document."
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nobody

5 Posts

Posted - 2006 May 05 :  18:31:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
An excerpt from another post I wrote in a different forum:

Privacy laws prohibit the administration of the College from publicly discussing details of student disciplinary actions. It is not the College, but the student, whose potential embarassment is of concern here.

This leads to a bad situation where rumors spread that Johnnie Doe was unjustly kicked out for assaulting a tutor. How damaging would it be to Johnnie's reputation if the College were allowed to confirm that the accusations are not unjust, that, in fact, Johnnie downed 12 hits of acid and chased Miss Brann across the campus with a battleaxe? Doesn't the College's legally imposed silence protect Mr. Doe's reputation?

This forum pretends that it is about defending people. If the owners really cared about students and staff they believe have been wronged, they would stop poking into other people's dirty laundry. It seems to me that what's really behind this forum is a prurient desire to know, "Did he really do it?" In response to this, I can only say, "It's not really any of our business."
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