Da Mayor and Northwestern

Well, apparently, a lot of Northwestern students are not happy about the decision to have Mayor Daley speak at Commencement this year. Go figure. You can’t please all the people all of the time. I don’t think that’s such an interesting story.

What I do think is interesting is the response the University President made to a student who wrote to complain. Senior Matthew Braslow e-mailed President Henry Bienen, in which he called the choice a “slap in the face” and that it “proved again why [Northwestern] is falling rapidly in the national rankings.” Pretty immature stuff, for a college senior. But the response from President Bienen was even worse… FTA:

“You sound like a very unhappy person,” Bienen wrote. “I am sorry for that. Hopefully things will improve for you over the years.” Bienen took this one step further, suggesting to Braslow, “By the way you think a commencement speaker has any thing to do with the national stature of Northwestern tells me we failed here in educating you.”

Is that really any way for a University President to respond to a student? Hell, to respond to anyone? Even if the student was acting like a whiny, disrespectful brat, I would have expected someone who’d risen to the level of President of a respected university to take the high road. Looks like Jerry Springer has had more of an influence on Northwestern than I would have guessed…

2 Comments so far

  1. Christopher M. Walsh (chi_christopher) on May 29th, 2008 @ 11:32 pm

    I disagree. The student who wrote the letter to the President was a whiny douche. I applaud the President for cutting the crap and calling the kid out on it. Screw that kid. The mayor of Chicago isn’t good enough for him? The years he spent working toward his degree are wasted because he thinks he’s gonna be bored during his graduation ceremony? The President of Northwestern is right to be embarrassed that his university produced such a turd.

  2. Dave! (dgulbran) on May 30th, 2008 @ 7:36 am

    I agree the kid was a whiny douche, but nevertheless, the President of a university with the reputation Northwestern should respond with more decorum. Period. His response makes the university look worse than that stupid kid…

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