The recent Last Lecture by Professor Sidney Fine made perfectly clear what is all-too-often forgotten, that the mainindeed, the ONLYbusiness of this Uni-versity is the education of its student body.
Unfortunately the ceremony was marred by potent reminders that learning/teaching is not always a primary activity here. For example, would not any reasonable person expect at a ceremony initiated and administered by the students of this University that the reigning Bureaucratsthat great host of presidents, junior vice-presidents, deans, assistant deans, chairmen of this and that, provosts, directors of parking, and on toward infinitywould have wanted to mingle with the crowd and be seated among the common folk for just ONE evening of the year? As it happened, the choice seats under the stage were taped off and reserved for the exclusive use of these corporate hierophants! The message, I suppose, was Keep Out!/This Means You!/No Students Need Apply! Must the need for sequestration and segregation of those beings penetrate into even those activities specifically designed to show the pre-eminence of the bond between undergraduate students and their teachers? Only when there is devised a ceremony honoring the Administrator of the Year would segregated seating be appropriate. Of course, then it would probably not be required, for who else would bother to come?
Next year no segregated seating, please. It is injudicious andworsejust offensive. Surely anyone, despite his/her lofty position, can endure Democracy for a few hours.
Department of English