Commentary: Celebration inconsiderate of co-op

I want to start by saying that I completely understand the need to celebrate the arrival of President Joseph Aoun to Northeastern.

The administration needs to get the student population excited about their new president, but by creating a disturbance in their daily routine this party is making some students angry instead.

It seems President Aoun wants the students to put their lives on hold for a week-long celebration that is coming six months too late. What has Aoun done over the last half year to deserve the students’ attention? Why should I want to support a president who has not made any immense efforts to warrant my interest?

Aoun is also canceling classes in the hope that students will attend his official inauguration. With no classes to go to, does he actually believe students are going to wake up for his speech at 10:30 a.m. on a Monday? It takes a lot of willpower to walk across campus and sit in the uncomfortable seats at Matthews Arena, and I think Aoun is overestimating the drive of college students. More likely than not, even the well-intentioned students will ignore their alarm clocks March 26, roll over and go back to sleep.

And I think he may be forgetting something. Many of the students who attend Northeastern don’t even have classes that week in March since they are on co-op. Co-op, you know, that thing our school is known for? Students on co-op do not have the option of skipping their prior commitments to attend the inauguration. They will have to go to work instead.

The idea of canceling classes seems so simple. Aoun is the president and apparently he can do whatever he wants. But does he think he can also snap his fingers and make all co-op employers cancel work for Northeastern students on the day of his inauguration? By scheduling this on a workday he is excluding about half the students who attend Northeastern.

In the article, “Inaugural plans set” (Jan. 24), Mark Putnam, chief planning officer and chief of staff, said the inauguration ceremony had to be on a Monday to facilitate the guests coming from out of town. I find it difficult to believe that all of these people coming to Boston from out of town don’t have careers or won’t have to work on a Monday morning. Apparently only students on co-op have actual jobs that require attendance Monday through Friday.

Why couldn’t the inauguration be held on a weekend, maybe a Saturday morning? This way no one is left out of the celebration. The least Aoun can do is give every student who attends Northeastern the option of going to the ceremony. By scheduling it for a Monday morning he is making it impossible for those who have to work to attend.

Maybe if Aoun gains magical powers in the upcoming months he will be able to blink his eyes or wiggle his nose and every student who pays for a Northeastern education will appear at Matthews Arena to sit through speeches they don’t actually want to hear. But I think some magnetic force may be needed to help drag students out of bed or away from their jobs first.

-Ashley Traupman is a sophomore journalism major and member of The News staff.

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