To the Members of the Emory Community,

In the past week, the Student Government Association has learned about the changes introduced to the College of Arts and Sciences and the Laney Graduate School. As the governing body tasked with representing the Emory student community, we feel it necessary to present the uncertainty and concerns of the student body to the broader Emory community.

As an organization, we are still uncertain about the changes. We have and will continue to devote much time to learning about the details of the decision and what they ultimately mean for the student experience at Emory. We hope the decisions made by the administration will indeed result in an Emory College and University community which is stronger and more academically vibrant.

However, as representatives of the current – not future – student body, we share the surprise at the announcement of these decisions, and we recognize the uncertainty and, in some cases, anger in regards to the announcement. We are concerned for the students presently enrolled in the programs and departments which have been directly affected. The changes place these students in very difficult positions, and we share their justifiable frustration. As such, we are committed to ensuring that the academic experience of these students is not compromised in any way.

Additionally, we question a process which excludes the involvement – or even awareness – of any current students. The administration has shown a willingness to include such involvement in other processes: most recently, the Provost Search and the hiring of other ranking administrators. We question why a similar protocol was not followed with this decision, and we look forward to ascertaining the reasoning behind the exclusion of student input.

Moving forward, we will be working to find out the exact meaning of these changes, and we will keep the student community informed as we learn more and establish opportunities for dialogue. We will engage the administration as much as is necessary to ensure the experience for both current and future students continues to grow, and never recedes, in value. And, while we stand by the expertise of the administration, we do so with the assumption that they will make strides to incorporate the opinions, perspectives, and presence of an engaged student population.

Many students have reached out to student government members with concerns, suggestions, and input. We recognize the gravity of this situation and appreciate the continued feedback.

The Student Government Association Emory University