This post is a response to Yvonne Abraham’s Boston Globe article and has been emailed to her directly
Dear Yvonne Abraham,
When I first read the line “Congratulations, you’ve been admitted to Suffolk University!” three years ago, I was ecstatic. However, after your article this line has been tainted. As a Suffolk student, your editorial piece recently published in the Boston Globe felt unprofessional, patronizing, and belittling to my experiences here.
Before writing this, I spent quite a few hours trying to authentically encapsulate an honest response to your piece. However I do admit, it only took the first few seconds to recognize my disgust. When I noticed the satirical tone of your first paragraph I was critically intrigued. Your use of satire may have worked if it wasn’t so unfocused, unorganized, and seriously unfunny.
Respectfully, I am extremely curious on what exactly lead you to use words such as “we” and “our” when talking about Suffolk in your article. Even if this was a literary tool based out of satire, your ownership of this university is insulting. For someone who did not go to Suffolk and doesn’t understand what it truly means to be a Suffolk community member, it is uncalled for you to tell our prospective students to look the other way.
As a first generation college student I have developed a commitment to my school and its reputation. My involvement with Suffolk has allowed me to criticize the school’s politics out of love and care for this university. In my opinion, your lack of involvement with the Suffolk community has produced nonsense. On behalf of those actually affiliated with my university, we demand an apology.
I am not critical of your entire piece, there are parts of it that touch on what is really happening politically at Suffolk. I do think you understand the surface level reality of the politics in my university. You’re right, the board is corrupted with corporate greed, Regan had no right to call McKenna “that woman,” and students/faculty did protest against the foolishness of the board. However, what you get completely and utterly wrong is mixing the status of Suffolk politics with the dignity of the Suffolk community. In addition, mentioning these student/faculty protests right before calling Suffolk a “basket case” (which is incredibly ableist) completely devalues the movement following Suffolk’s reputation downfall in the media earlier this year.
Since you are not Suffolk affiliated, you may not know so I will take a moment to explain to you the power of being a Suffolk community member. After various media outlets criticized Suffolk’s credibility, my university gathered as many community members as possible and marched, rallied, and protested through the snow to show the world that the Suffolk community did not condone the actions of the Board of Trustees. Along with the march, the Suffolk community rallied in other ways and committed countless hours to get the media’s attention and turn the conversation away from the Board and back to the real pillars of any university: their students. We had alumni fly thousands of miles to rally with us, professors postpone their classes, students walk out, and we started a university wide campaign to promote community (see hashtag: #WeAreSuffolk).
So… when you ask in your article “…is this really the kind of place you want to spend the next four years,” the question undermines the power of student activism and community. When you ask “is this really the kind of place you want to spend the next four years,” you intentionally pour countless dollars and hours invested in our degrees/jobs down the drain. When you ask “is this really the kind of place you want to spend the next four years,” in under twenty words you have single handedly insulted future and current lawyers, doctors, accountants, CEO’s, journalists, artists, physicists, well rounded, educated, and inspired individuals.
On your page in the Boston Globe, I stumbled upon a video of you introducing yourself as a columnist. You mention that you are open to having an ongoing conversation with readers who believe your points are wrong so take this letter as an invitation to come to Suffolk University and meet the wonderful people that make this Suffolk community my home. Come to our little corner of downtown Boston and find out why Suffolk will continue to be my home for a lifetime, not merely four years.
An Actual Suffolk Community Member
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