Over the past three years I’ve spent on this staff, I have probably written close to a hundred stories for The Gannon Knight.
The article that I’ve always been the proudest of and the story that is dearest to my heart centers around an interview conducted with Mr. John Coleman.
On Oct. 5, 2016, The Knight published a profile piece featuring Mr. Coleman that celebrated his 15-year anniversary of service to the university.
I had the privilege of sitting down with one of Gannon’s friendliest faces to learn about his life story, journey to Gannon and indisputable passion for his job.
Throughout the interview and in writing the story, I gained so much respect for Mr. Coleman and the positivity that he represents.
He continually went above and beyond his job requirements to make students feel not only safe, but encouraged, welcomed and important.
I’m sure that anyone who has met Mr. Coleman would agree that he genuinely cared for the people at this university — and the students, staff, faculty and alumni certainly care about him, as evidenced by the petition to re-establish a position for Mr. Coleman that began circulating after word spread about the staff cuts.
As of press time, the document has more than 1,200 signatures.
That’s 1,200 individuals that this one person impacted enough to leave a positive, memorable impression upon.
That’s 1,200 members of the “Gannon family” who are disappointed and frustrated with the recent decisions made by university administrators.
It’s important to note that this frustration extends beyond Mr. Coleman’s situation, for the numerous other university staff members that have lost their jobs in the recent week.
Trusted advisers, respected professionals and important staff members of various offices and departments have all been affected by these recent employment decisions.
Staff that students relied on have just vanished, and a large chunk of the personnel considered to be part of this university’s proud connected family are gone, with no proper press release distributed and little confirmed information being shared.
These actions are upsetting to see implemented considering all the marketing and promoting the university pushes boasting “utmost care and support for the Gannon family.”
From a student perspective, it’s hard to buy into this notion of supporting the Gannon family when the administration does away with a lot of the personalities that made this place feel like home.
At the end of the day, despite whatever amount of money is poured into new renovations and however much effort is dispersed to serving satellite campuses, this university is only as good as the people it employs and the students it serves.
For the most part, Gannon has been good to me and when I look back at my time spent at this undergraduate university I am not upset with the education I received and the experience I created. I have a lot to be grateful for, and I am sincerely appreciative to Gannon.
That being said, I can’t help but feel as if the university has failed the students in some way through these drastic employment cuts and I am concerned for what this means looking into the school’s future.
Although I will no longer be a student at Gannon next year, I will continue to care about this university and I hope that in the years to come the university’s actions will align with the mission that we believe in.