My first blog post “Chancy Nancy vs. U.S. News” was a condemnation of U.S. News & World Report’s College Rankings. My position was that U.S. News’s rankings system is flawed and that no college should try and sell its institution to a magazine. Last week, an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education titled “Syracuse’s Slide” referenced Syracuse University’s decline in the national rankings. The article also described Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s increased financial commitment to the city of Syracuse, academics and research, and student diversity and selectivity. The article highlighted some of the controversies surrounding Chancy Nancy’s tenure here as well as criticism and praise from the school’s faculty.

One student here at SU posted the article on Facebook and, as a result, it garnered many responses from SU students. The students expressed how they felt about SU’s ranking and status as well as the initiatives by Chancy Nancy to increase the university’s role in the community and diversity at SU. While there were a variety of opinions concerning all of these issues, SU students did not disregard each other’s viewpoints, but rather expressed their sentiments in a mature and civil manner.

It can be extremely difficult to talk about student diversity and whether it has led to SU becoming less selective, but it is a dialogue that all students should be aware is occurring on campus and are welcome to participate in. Whether you agree with U.S. News, Cantor, or have mixed feelings, we should all be comfortable expressing our perspectives on these issues.

I had a conversation with a friend the same day the student posted “Syracuse’s Slide,” and we agreed and disagreed on the numerous subjects brought up in the article. I left that conversation not angered, but relieved that in a society where raucous, loud, and emotionally charged debate has become the norm, we could consider each other’s  perspectives without being hostile or resorting to degrading one another. It is often hard for me to find moments of pride in our student body, but when we have discussions such as this and in this constructive manner, I am proud of us.

Thoughts?

-Brysan Brown

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