Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Unbelieveable #2

So I came across a story today that compelled me to write an extra post for this week. This story involves Shanelle Walker a (from my understanding) a former Kentucky State University (KSU) student. During her time at KSU, Ms. Walker was elected student body president and during her tenure she (apparently) proved to be a controversial president by taking a "strong stand against the heads of Student Affairs and Residential Life." According to the article, Ms. Walker's largest gripe was the fact that at one point the school was not prepared for the students to enter the residence halls and asked the students to stay in a hotel for a few weeks. Ms. Walker claimed that these hotels were in neighborhoods that she perceived as dangerous. Now, I understand that living in a hotel for the first couple of weeks can be very disruptive to the educational process, but at least the school was doing something and footing the bill. I believe that there are some schools, if faced with the same situation, would inform the students that they needed to find an alternate place to live, provide some options, and prorate room and board (which would probably not cover the costs incurred). And I completely understand that Ms. Walker was doing what she believed was part of her duty, to protect the interests of the student body, but I think I am correct in inferring that that neighborhoods were not dangerous according to the reasonable man. I cannot speak for other's parents, but if I informed my mother that I was in a dangerous area she would have done everything in her power to make it know and get me out of there. The school would not have been able to keep any students there.

But sadly, this is not the end of the story. At some point in Ms. Walker's time at KSU she realized that she needed a retroactive withdrawl. She was intially awarded this withdrawl, but the decision was challenged by the Student Affars office. When the decision was challenged Ms. Walker was asked to provide further information that would support her missing so many classes. Ms. Walker provided a doctor's note that was later determined to be false and her retroactive withdrawl was rescinded. And she is upset why? Because (1) as far as her knowledge goes, this was the first time that Student Affairs intervened in a decision concerning a student's grades, (2) after being caught she was removed as student body president, suspended, and her withdrawls converted to F's, (3) other student's have committed far worse infractions than she and received lesser punishments, and (4) a male student requested retroactive withdrawl and it was granted. Does anyone see a problem with her reasoning?

  1. So the problem here, I worked in the Student Affairs office at my undergraduate school and as much as students liked to believe that they knew everything that went on behind the scenes, they didn't. Schools have a responsibility to keep student's private records well...private. They don't broadcast everytime they discovered some form of academic dishonesty and I'm pretty sure the student accused didn't either. And Student Affairs is usually where the Academic Dean is so that is the part of the school that takes care of those matters.
  2. She was the student body president for goodness sake. And she is upset because she got caught forging a doctor's note and was suspended and the decisions made based on the lie reversed? I am not saying that she should be held to a higher standard, but it is common knowledge that people in positions of power usually are. If she didn't want the additional scrutiny, then she should have remained a plain old student.
  3. Once again, she's student body president. However, she may have a valid argument here because in her interview she stated that there were athletes arrested for first degree robbery (that was later reduced to theft) and they only incurred a $100 fine and some community service. I would be outraged, if I could believe her. She's lied once already so her creadibility is moot with me.
  4. Does she know all of the circumstances surrounding that student's retroactive withdrawl? Maybe he could produce a note from an actual doctor. Hey, you enver know.

This story and her reasoning and actions (speaking out very publicly against the school administration) disgusts me. As an African American woman, I am very disappointed in her actions and the fact that she does not seem to realize what she did wrong. However, I realize that is just my opinion, now I want to know what is yours? Have I only seen part of the story? Is there something I'm missing? Or do you think I'm just plain wrong? Let me know. I promise to publish all comments unless they include derogatory language including, but not limited to curse words.

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