Letter to the Editor | None of the presidential candidates represent our interests

Following the selection of the next president of the University of Iowa, Iowa City community members invite others to join a discussion Friday about community issues.

The+Old+Capitol+building+is+seen+on+March%2C+6%2C+2021.+

Katie Goodale

The Old Capitol building is seen on March, 6, 2021.


Over the past two weeks, the University of Iowa met the final four candidates for the next president through a series of live forums. What was clear from these forums is that the differences between these candidates were inconsequential. All of them were unwilling to verbally commit to the actions that promote education as a public good and will keep our community safe. We demand the reallocation of funds from UIPDone of five police departments in Johnson Countyto what actually keeps our community safe, like a $15 minimum wage and robust health insurance coverage for all workers. Students, faculty, staff, and community members will be affected by this choice, yet they had no say, save for mostly unelected representatives on the search committee, in selecting these candidates. Ultimately, the state Board of Regents will select who they want. So, it is not surprising that these finalists do not represent our common interests.

We demand a permanent tuition freeze because tuition hikes are pushing out working class students, students of color, and other marginalized students. We demand financial stability for students, staff, and adjunct faculty so they do not have to work to the point of exhaustion and risk their physical and mental health. We demand the reallocation of funds from the UI Police Department to what actually keeps our community safe.

Instead of getting hung up on which flavor of the same platitudes will take residence in the president’s house, we are committing to building community power. Bruce Harreld is leaving, but this does not mean that our school and campus will stop being treated like a business.

Neither the Board of Regents nor a new president will put an end to the exploitation of our community. As students, workers, and Iowa City community members, that is up to us.

Please join us on Friday at 4:30 p.m. as we gather together on the Pentacrest to talk about community issues and build community power.

 

– In solidarity, a coalition of undergraduate students, graduate students, and Iowa City community members, sent in by University of Iowa student Hannah Zadeh

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