Reaction to newly scheduled forum with Bruce Benson
Various groups within the CU community will be able to attend an additional open forum on campus with presidential finalist Bruce Benson, after classes limited some from attending one held Monday.
The CU Board of Regents named Benson as the only finalist for CU president at a meeting on January 31st.
People had a lot to say about the new finalist, his policies and the general setup of the recent forums.
“I personally believe that he is unqualified for the position,” said Legislative Council President Boyce Postma. “You could even say extremely unqualified for many reasons, ranging from his personal education to his business model orientation that he plans to take the university in.”
Postma explained that Legislative Council is currently working on resolutions regarding disappointment with Benson and the process that made him a presidential finalist. It will hold a standard meeting open to the public on Thursday at 7 p.m. in UMC 247 to discuss the issue.
“The meeting will deal with two resolutions,” Postma said. “The first resolution deals with the disagreement about the way this process is being done, as in selecting the candidate, the total lack of student involvement with such an important issue and a lack of transparency. The second resolution will deal with the actual selection of the finalist.”
UCSU Tri-executive Hadley Brown highlighted a major question that came up during a meeting of the union- How will Bruce Benson work with a staff member who disagrees with him?
“That question was particularly illuminating because he’s been a particularly decisive partisan person,” Brown said. “What was concerning is that he wasn’t able to answer some questions during the forum.”
Brown said Benson had no idea about issues like the Civil Rights initiative, something he said Benson must understand to do the job.
During a meeting with members of UCSU, Brown said Benson promised to learn more about the issue.
“He needs more opportunity to learn about the issues,” said Charles Gilford, another Tri-executive. “My concern is it’s been a long process, and there are rudimentary issues that have not been prioritized and understood.”
A few students also had a lot to say about Benson.
Both Matt Steninger, a junior history major, and Leah Labovitz, a junior psychology major, walked around the UMC during the meetings with a petition proposal for students to sign.
Labovitz said the petition asks the Regents for more time during the complicated process of choosing a new president so that students will have the ability to have their voices be heard.
A news alert e-mail was sent this morning to students on their CULink e-mail accounts informing them of the events involving Benson. However, many students had conflicting classes during the afternoon discussion.
“Not a lot of students could come today because it was during class time,” Steninger said. “The student forum was held in UMC 235 and it was near capacity, which showed that there was interest and people wanted to come, but they were unable to.”
A university representative proposed a second open forum, which would take place in the evening to allow students to come and ask their questions.
“If the Regents have selected Benson as their sole candidate, they must have a good reason,” Labovitz said. “We as students need more time to find that reason for ourselves.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Stephanie Shepard at firstname.lastname@example.org