Opinion: An Inconsequential Response to a Consequential Problem

By Dominic DiLuzio, Staff Writer

Dominic DiLuzio ’26 (Photo William Oehler/The Gettysburgian)

At a meeting of the Student Senate in early March, members of the President’s Council unveiled the much-anticipated Intranet, promising to meet student demands for increased transparency. We were promised a novel platform, available only to members of the Gettysburg community, that would host updates from the Administration on the most important issues facing the College and our student body. The platform was lauded as a one-stop shop for students to interface with the Administration: students could submit concerns or questions, see updates and explanations from the Administration, and find resources helpful in understanding the decisions of the College. The requirement of College credentials for access gave an expectation of frankness and clarity that students had never before received. 

What we received was a useless, unhelpful, downright offensive platform, ostensibly a product of the Communication and Marketing office, filling an informational lapse with the equivalent of Marshmallow Fluff. After entering their College credentials, students are greeted by a foreword asserting that the College “has remained steadfast in its commitment to equipping students with the skills and mindset needed to excel in a rapidly evolving world and workforce.” What the Administration has seemingly forgotten is the heuristic need to equip students with practical information to confront actual issues. The Intranet falls eons short of coming remotely close to creating an informed student body, instead treating students as mere atoms in a system in which they do not need nor deserve to be informed.

Should a student consult the Intranet to ascertain what issues their Administration finds most important, they will be met with the following: “In the face of contemporary challenges such as political divisions and demographic shifts, Gettysburg, like many institutions of higher education, is actively addressing these issues. Our primary focus currently revolves around navigating this pivotal moment in the College’s history as a unified community.” Beyond merely being a vacuous response to a legitimate cause for student concern, one must wonder if the response was crafted to incite feelings of disunity among the student body, which is arguably united as one, to distract from the issue at hand: institutional disrespect of students. At risk of being facetious, the only disunity that I can confidently place my finger on is that between the faculty and the Administration.

The Intranet is not a one-off misstep from the Administration- it is yet another failure in a pattern of opacity and seclusion. The Administration demonstrates a fundamental inability to understand what issues matter to its students, and worse displays a lack of regard for its students as the primary stakeholders in most of the decisions it makes. 

It shouldn’t take this much effort to achieve what we, as students, are rightfully entitled to. Each of us, through our enrollment in this institution, are the primary stakeholders in every decision the Administration makes. The faculty are paid to be here; we pay to be here. The alumni used to be here; we are here. The Administration continues to believe its students are undeserving of clearly understanding the disposition of the College. Should this Administration want to cultivate the democratic ideals they plaster marketing materials with, they should consider treating their students as the active members they are. If not, we continue to grow spiteful in the shadow of the Penn Hall Oligarchy.  

This article originally appeared on page 7 of the No. 2 April 2024 edition of The Gettysburgian’s magazine.

Author: Gettysburgian Staff

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