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There again to say that "ASU" did that implies that everyone at the institution is a culprit when the action (legit or not) was carried out unilaterally by a former administrator.
I appreciate your level headed, practical demeanor. While your thoughts are certainly valid, there are a few things that I would ask you to consider, with all due respect.
1) The Fine Arts are an essential part of the fabric that makes up the university education. The professors and administrators in the Fine Arts Department do not merely serve majors. We serve every student on campus through core curriculum and cultural events. Part of what every student is paying for when he or she undertakes a university education is a cultural experience, and to be versed in the arts (as well as the sciences, mathematics, etc.) is impetus of any college or university. It is why many employers look for people with college diplomas. In addition, I have been highly impressed at both the quantity and quality of cultural events that ASU helps to bring to the community at large.
2) Keeping with your analogy regarding athletes, the vast majority of athletes will not become professionals. Many will coach PE, work in sporting goods, radio, tv, sell cars, sell insurance, etc. Working out of field does not mean the diploma is a waste. In fact most majors do something related to their field rather than something truly field specific unless they attain highly specialized training and/or advanced degrees. In addition to a length list of fields associated with the arts, we teach many skill sets that are useful in many different kinds of jobs.
3) My most pragmatic point is that every year money is spent by the state on capital outlay. This is because the benefits to the state both economically and culturally are clearly worth the investment. Now, that money will be spent regardless. When our community does not back our proposals, that money gets spent in another community. Rather than asking ourselves, why should our tax dollars be spent, perhaps we should ask why should our tax dollars repeatedly go to fund buildings and projects in other cities? Let's put our tax dollars to work here.
All that we are asking for is adequate space and safety for our classes. We feel our students should get a similar experience and benefits that their peers within the University System of Georgia. To accomplish this, our request has not been extravagant. When you consider that we are working in cramped spaces without adequate infrastructure in a building that is essentially condemned, it is, in fact, a practical proposal. This is especially a true statement when you consider the number of students who are competing with their peers at other institutions, who are getting into grad programs, and who are finding success in the job market. Our students work hard. i am proud of them. I would love to see them working in a cathedral of the arts. That's not what we have planned, though. The proposal is practical, useful, and multi-faceted. It would be a great addition to our campus and to the community.
President Shields spent part of the donated funds on scholarships. She claimed that Ray Charles, himself, okayed that. This is old, old news. I don't know the validity of all that; I was not there. The money did, however, go to scholarships not the stadium or someone's pocket. Perhaps it was a little sketchy, but it certainly was not the criminal misappropriation that some of the people I talk to want to believe. That is my understanding.
In a previous post I said the majority of the money was not spent. I would like to retract that claim. I was confused about the amounts. The rest of my former points are dead on, though. It is not ASU's fault, at least the faculty and administrators on the building committee, that the building is not built. The architects were even amazed by the amount of manipulation, blocking, and obstruction that has taken place. Maybe if we referred to it as the Humanities building instead of the Fine Arts building, people would have a better idea of what the building actually is and dispense with the notion that ASU is trying to build a cathedral.
What gives? I don't know. Clearly there are people who do not think that ASU students deserve to work in adequate and safe facilities. There are agendas and conversations that I am not privy to. It is a shame, however, because these students are finding ways to succeed despite these agendas.
I would like to clarify a couple of things. 1) I read a post that stated that the majority of the money was spent. This is just not factual or in anyway truthful. The majority of the money has been sitting in a bank account for several years.
2) This is not a failure of ASU. I know of few harder working committees anywhere than the committee tasks with overseeing the design of the building. Architects have come up with the final design. The final design has been approved. There is a model of the building and a digital tour. ASU has done everything except gone out and laid bricks. In fact, there has never been more obstacles and hoops placed before any university attempting to get much needed classroom space.
3) As a Caucasian, I am throughly disappointed and disgusted by snide racist remarks that I have seen in other threads (certainly my fellow Albanians would never write such ignorant trash). I would like to make it crystal clear, that the ASU Fine Arts Department has been a boon to this community. Not only have students achieved excellence while working in subpar facilities, the Department has brought a wealth of cultural events, artists, and performers to Albany. If you missed that, attend some of the performances produced by the T. Marshall Jones Lyceum Series before you make assumptions about the quality and/or philosophy of our institution.
Finally, while the return of the money is disappointing and certainly a little embarrassing to the state of Georgia (as there are a number of people outside this institution who have worked to delay this building), it is not the end of the world.
All bees are free folks. So are the birds. Regardless of belief or persuasion, if you don't vote, you have no say or right to complain about, protest, request, or demand anything regarding the government. That being said, if anyone is hassled at a polling center for IDs or any other reason, I suggest that you let everyone know! Shout it at the top of your lungs! Make a big stink! Be sure it is loud and clear! Don't let anyone mess with your most essential and basic right.
Last login: Saturday, January 12, 2013