In 2006, changes in the political leanings of Ohio brought about the creation of a new office in state government, the office of the Chancellor of Education. Reflecting George W. Bush’s unpopularity, most voters were irked with the GOP and voted them out of office. This caused Ohio to move almost all of its elected officials into the Democrat column. In doing so, Ohio elected Gov. Ted Strickland to office. Strickland had promised his chief opponent in the primaries a nice juicy position if he dropped out, and Strickland always keeps his promises; thus, the new office of Chancellor of Education was created.
Eric D. Fingerhut, the man appointed to this shiny new position by Gov. Strickland, quickly set about trying to update the university system of Ohio. Making several sweeping changes, he wanted to put all of the state universities on one schedule, and one common academic requirement. This, arguably, would ease transitions between schools. However, instead of requiring this, Fingerhut let the schools decide to adopt it or not on their own.
Recently, the University Senate of The Ohio State University (OSU) decided that it was time to change the school's calendar from quarters to semesters; they cited Fingerhut's plan as a main reason for this switch. OSU, which has been running on quarters since 1922, will be moving over to semesters in 2012, ending a 90-year experiment that seemed to be working fine. The Senate, which vote 19-91 (20 abstained or were not there) in favor of the switch, presented a largely false case for making a change, and they did so in a non-parliamentary procedure.
The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) at OSU staged several "meetings" in order to get students talking about the proposed change. While they claimed that many students showed up, there was no advance publicity for these events, and they were basically full of pro-switch people. Though this makes it appear as though the students support the change, they didn’t show up because nobody knew about it. Even I, a member of USG, had heard nothing of these meetings, and did not know that they had happened until after the fact. There was no publication of them in the newspapers, no emails, nothing. Thus, any input from these meetings is highly suspect.
Additionally, USG, which is supposed to represent the students at OSU, paid no attention to the comments made by the students on various websites, and even in the school's own newspaper. Only one USG senator, Tracee Huffman, decided to ask the students how they felt, and she voted the way they felt, against the proposal. Most students mentioned that they were against the change, and that they wanted it to be thought out. Others, myself included, wanted to see a full plan of action before a vote. USG ignored us all.