Student Statement to the Faculty Assembly

Statement to the Faculty Assembly on behalf of the students protesting the proposal to eliminate the political science program (November 19, 2021)

Good afternoon. Before I begin, I want to briefly introduce myself. My name is Lydia Shock. I am a sophomore here and a political science major. When I first came to Marian, I thought I wanted to be a teacher. I quickly discovered this was not the path for me. I switched majors about three times before finally landing on political science. I spoke to Johnny Goldfinger before making the final decision to switch.

Political science makes me feel at home. I feel like I am finally in a major that I am passionate about. However, now there is a chance for this to be taken away. And I am not the only one who feels this way, nonpolitical science majors and minors feel at home here as well. All of the students standing in the back feel this program is home. Not only does this program deserve to continue for us, we owe it to future Knights.

The administration believes this program is not viable. Yet, here we are standing in the back of the room proving this program is not only viable, but thriving. This is proof that the education we are receiving in this program is foundational to who we are as people.

We have not been given ample time to prove, as students, that this program is vital. We only learned of this decision, weeks maybe even months, after moves had already started to be made. We were left out of the discussion. We are owed time to prove ourselves. Pierre Atlas attempted to find out what needed to be done in order to save this program, but never received an answer. Marian University Administration owes it to us to allow us ample time to prove ourselves.

In regards to the major being combined into Global Studies, I have been told by many different people that Global Studies is not an even trade of majors. Global Studies will remove domestic politics from Political Science. The Global Studies program is a cover up. It will not be the same as political science and will not offer students the same learning opportunities as the current program does now.

When it comes to the financial issue, moving ahead with this choice is going to be what costs Marian money, not the other way around. Many alumni have pledged to remove their donations from the school if Marian goes through with this. Many current Political Science majors are considering leaving the school, which means the school loses our tuition money. This major is also self-sufficient. The tuition of the 33 students provides the pay for the 2 professors. We could probably provide pay for more than 2 with our tuition money. Money is not an issue here.

This proposal also violates the Franciscan values this school was founded on. Future generations will not be able to fully understand responsible stewardship, reconciliation, peace and justice, and dignity of the individual if this program is done away with. Political science is a core program of the Franciscan values this school teaches. No program better shows the necessity and application of the Franciscan values like Political Science. All The Franciscan Values can be applied to every aspect of political science. This program teaches us not only how to be responsible citizens, but also carry on the message of the Franciscan Values in whatever career path we chose. In fact, I have learned more about the Franciscan values in one class with Johnny Goldfinger than many of my other classes.

Alumni, petition commenters, and schools all around Indianapolis are standing behind us. Removing this program is a huge mistake. You must reconsider. There talking about political science now, but this sets a precedent that any liberal arts program is at risk. Those of us here felt we were safe and secure. But apparently, we were wrong. Do not get a false sense of security at Marian University.