North Dakota State Students Elected A Cat To Their Student Government

At last night’s heated meeting of the UND Student Government over a resolution calling for the resignation of UND President Robert Kelley and other administrators one of the talking points thrown around by critics of the resolution was that North Dakota State University’s student leaders don’t seem to have a problem with tuition hikes being proposed at their institution.

Tanner Franklin, the president of the student body at UND, has alleged that administrators at his institution have been trying to hide a massive tuition hike from state lawmakers and students. Similar tuition hikes are in the works at NDSU, but the student government there hasn’t had anywhere near the same reaction at UND.

There may be a reason for that.

The students at NDSU pretty much elected a cat to their student government. Now, the cat can’t actually be seated because cats can’t enroll as students at NDSU, but if it were a student the roughly fifty votes it got would have done the trick:

Unfortunately for Professor X, he wasn’t eligible to take a seat on the senate because he is not an NDSU student.

According to the student newspaper, The Spectrum, the cat garnered the second most write-in votes and with just five candidates on the ballot and 11 spots, Professor X would have been a senator.

From the Spectrum article, here’s a sad commentary on the state of higher education (emphasis mine): “Chief Justice Mathew Warsocki said during Friday’s results announcement the feline brought in 38 official votes; however, the vote count was raised because some students struggled to spell “Professor X” correctly.”

Remember, these are college students.

Anyway, maybe this is the sort of student involvement university administrators prefer. When the goal of these institutions isn’t so much preparing students academically for careers in the real world but hiring more administrators to work on bigger, more decadent campuses the sort of students you want are defined by their apathy.

After all, what do these universities care if the students fritter away their time on campus? The universities get paid up front. What happens to the students after that – whether they graduate or not – isn’t really their concern. Just pack in more kids paying more tuition and the legions of administrators on these campuses can keep collecting their six-figure salaries and cushy perks.

At UND students are pushing back against what they see as abuses and a lack of transparency from their administrators. At NDSU, the students don’t seem to take student government very seriously. That’s not a UND vs. NDSU slam – I care very little for the rivalry between the two campuses – but just a defense of the kids at UND.

Clearly, there’s no push back on tuition hikes at NDSU because students there aren’t as engaged.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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