Sunday, October 23, 2011

UMass Chancellor strikes back

So it took a while, but the lame duck leader of the flagship University of Massachusetts at Amherst Chancellor Bob Holub responded to the Front Page, above-the-fold-glorification-of-student-parties story that appeared in both the Daily Hampshire Gazette and Amherst Bulletin on September 29--a Friday no less.
Chancellor Robert Holub
His Letter To The Editor appears in this Saturday's Gazette--the most widely read press run of the week--along with two other letters sternly criticizing the student party mentality oozing from the original article by two young champions of the ZooMass image of old, Peter Clark and Emerson Rutkowski.

I actually tried to get our venerable Amherst Select Board to respond with their own Letter To The Editor a couple weeks back, but apparently to no avail.

SB Chair Stephanie O'Keeffe can publicly criticize our beleaguered DPW for not completing construction of the downtown Spring Street parking lot in the middle of an unexpected monsoon season, but hides her head in the mud when it comes to riotous student behavior that degrades the quality of life in neighborhoods near and far from UMass, the largest employer in Western Massachusetts and Amherst's second largest landowner--all of it tax exempt.

Spring Street parking lot Friday morning October 21

Sunday Morning

Kendrick Park Amherst Town Center
UMass Parking Lot near Whitmore
Upper Amity Street Town Center


Anonymous said...

Unexpected monsoon? Come on Larry, dont make excuses for this latest white elephant. A *unnecessary* long-term inconvenience for an *unnecessary* project. That lot was fine as it was. Where's the next spot to have those oh-so-sophisticated sidewalks installed?

LarryK4 said...

Well, according to the venerable Gazette:

"The summer of 2011 has been the second rainiest in the 117 years that meteorologists have been keeping records. It has rained one out of every three days since April. From March through September, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said western Massachusetts has significantly exceeded average rainfalls with almost 5 inches of rain each month, and with the help of two major weather systems, Irene and Ike, the area saw 7.34 inches of rain in August alone, or 189 percent above normal, NOAA reports."

Anonymous said...

and the largest landowner in town is?

LarryK4 said...

Amherst College.

They are of course tax exempt as well--but they do pay taxes on their golf course (unlike the town) and the Lord Jeff Inn and all the faculty houses they own and rent to professors.

LarryK4 said...

They actually like to bill themselves as "the largest taxpayer in town."

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what additional benefit we would get from Ms. O'Keeffe sounding off on this topic, except to make you feel better.

She's in a little different position from Mr. Holub. My recollection is that she was one of the early proponents of the enhanced fines. Are you ready to declare that initiative a failure?

LarryK4 said...

Nothing wrong with a little follow up.

Anonymous said...

The University of Massachusetts is responsible for providing an education to students, and that is it. They reprimand students for academic dishonesty and are not legally responsible for the behavior outside of the academics. This is true for all universities, which is why there is such a small legal division in colleges.

They don't take action because essentially it's not their responsibility nor should it be.

LarryK4 said...

They seem to have zero tolerance for alcohol violations on campus sooooooooo, now that the Student Code of Conduct has been extended to cover incidents off campus...

Anonymous said...

While I'm glad to see the Chancellor finally stepping-up, I'd love to see how many students have been expelled due to code of conduct violations - specifically alcohol related. My guess is zero.

Did Peter Clark or Emerson Rutkowski face any real consequences? I think this is lip service - too little, too late.