UNI Students' 24/7 Weeklong Study Vigil in Seerley Hall Underway
Students United for Academics and students from all majors join together to show the administration at the University of Northern Iowa that academics should be a No. 1 priority.
This morning at 7 a.m., Students United for Academics and students from all majors joined together on the ground floor in Seerley Hall on the University of Northern Iowa campus to begin a 24/7 study vigil.
The students plan to maintain a presence at the space all week until Friday to make a statement that academics should be the No. 1 priority at UNI.
“We’re here to show that we want academics to be the number one priority at this university — not athletics, not administrative salary, not anything else,” said Ray Werner, history graduate student. “We believe that university academics should be No. 1, and that’s why we’re here studying.”
Werner wants to “make aware to the faculty, to the administration, to students and to community members, that there are students on this campus, there are people on this campus, that want to support the academic programs that are at a high risk of being cut at the university.”
Although his major is not being cut, he is still personally affected from the proposed changes to the programs at the university, he said. Werner has many friends, family and knows alumni in a variety of majors to be cut, and also has an aunt that is an instructor at Malcolm Price Laboratory School, which is scheduled to close July 1.
“I think it’s a major blow to the academic integrity of the university,” said Werner. “Especially Price Lab, which makes this one of the most unique universities in the nation.”
Mindy Stump, a history graduate student, feels that the issue of the academic programs being cut needs to be taken more seriously by students of every major.
“Even if your program isn’t being cut, students need to care about this issue because the opportunities that students are getting now are in jeopardy, so future generations won’t be able to have the same opportunities and that’s a real problem,” said Stump. “I think it’s very disappointing that more students don’t care because it won’t affect them personally.”
Students United for Academics encourage those interested in getting involved to bring a book or other study materials and join the study session at any time until Friday, March 9 at 7 p.m. For questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the group’s Facebook page.
“This isn’t like an Occupy Wall Street or anything like that,” said Richard Thompson, history graduate student. “This is just students proving that we care more about our education then the administration does.”