The Attorney General’s office released an opinion that said Emporia State did not violate the Kansas Open Meetings act when the Emergency Notification Team met last March to discuss the murder that occurred across the street, without allowing access for the public or the press.
We, at The Bulletin, don’t want to spend time trying to decry the AG’s opinion. Instead, we’d like to bring up another issue. This is an opportunity for a change within university administration.
This is an opportunity for the university to show that they value transparency.
This is the time for administration to change the way that they have always done things and be upfront and clear about the ways they intend to keep people safe.
The Emergency Notification Team is an important entity. While it is not subject to KOMA now, because it is not technically part of the government body, it should be.
The Emergency Notification Team reviews the procedure and performance of the university when it comes to emergency situations. They are a standing body.
They should have elected representatives from Faculty Senate and Associated Student Government and their process should be transparent and clear. Their recommendations for policy should be made known.
Students have a right to know what the university does to keep people safe and administration must earn the trust of the students. Administration cannot continue to demand trust without being clear about what we are supposed to trust them on, and then tell us to shut our lips when we complain.
There has been some concern with people saying “Well, if they’re so transparent, then won’t that be a danger to us? Then the bad people will know what our plan is.”
Security does not always mean secrecy, and it is more unnerving to not know that there’s a system in place that can be trusted.
Every year, the university is completely thorough and upfront about their grading policy, and yet students grades and the specifics are kept quiet.
Through the last few years, there has been an alarming trend of releasing fewer and fewer details. It’s time to stop this erosion of transparency.
It’s time for us, as people, to stand up and demand a more transparent and trustworthy Emergency Notification Team.