Today, the Post and Courier printed an op-ed by Reps. Leon Stavrinakis and Jim Merrill in which the pair championed their bill merging the CofC and MUSC. This was not a surprise. We all knew that an op-ed was a coming.
[image-1]However, what is a surprise is the fact that Stavrinakis and Merrill managed to defend their bill without discussing the complaints of its detractors — or to acknowledge just how widely panned this plan is. Equally as surprising, the pair only mentioned the word “students” twice in the entire op-ed, proving once again that the “customers” of these two schools are but an after thought for these two legislators.
Here are a couple of other tidbits we learned in the op-ed:
1. Stavrinakis and Merrill believe that local blogs have been spreading false information about the bill. The truth is, unless it comes from them, it’s probably a lie.
2. The merger has been in the works for decades, long before today’s CofC and MUSC students were born and Stavrinakis and Merrill were first elected.
3. Unlike most graduating seniors, Charlestonians would rather go to their hometown college than, let’s say, attend a school as far away from their parents as possible. Apparently, they like it when mom drops by at 4:20 on a Friday afternoon.
4. The proposed Francis Marion satellite campus in Mt. Pleasant is an imminent threat to the vitality of both CofC and MUSC. Virginia College is nearly as frightening.
5. Boeing needs research university-educated assembly line workers.
6. Transforming CofC into a research university will not require “a massive capital building” campaign in downtown Charleston, but expanding the research offerings by MUSC, which is already a research university, will.
7. CofC and MUSC faculty and board members oppose the merger simply because they’re afraid of losing their positions of power.
8. They’re really sorry you don’t like the names they came up with for the two campuses. They can come up with a better names if you like. Sorry.
9. Those who oppose the merger will continue to “obfuscate and parse words” when it comes to the bill.
10. For over a year, Stavrinakis and Merrill tried to convince “stakeholders” at CofC and MUSC to support the merger. The stakeholders refused to agree to the plan. Unwilling to take no for an answer, the two men introduced a bill that would force the schools to merge against the will of both faculty and staff.