The Gustavian Weekly

Letter to the Editor (10/14/2016)

By The Weekly Staff | October 14, 2016 | Letters to the Editor

On October 7, 2016, The Gustavian Weekly published “Faculty conclude vote in favor of commencement changes.”

Since the Chaplains’ Office was repeatedly mentioned in the article, we are compelled to share our account of several inaccuracies surrounding the reported process and decision to move commencement from Sunday to Saturday.

In specifics, The Gustavian Weekly published the following statements:

• [The Chaplains’ Office has been] “one of the forerunners geared toward the graduation change”.

• “…the Chaplains and the AOC have been working together, since last semester, to create a case for the change”.

• “The committees of the Chaplains and the AOC internally decided that their case was solid enough to present to the entire faculty staff. The Chaplains and the AOC presented their case at the faculty meeting on September 12, 2016.”

The above statements are false. From our perspective, those without direct knowledge of recent events have a right to know that: 1) The Chaplains’ Office was not consulted during the process that ultimately led to a faculty vote on September 23rd, and 2) We presented a case against the commencement change at the faculty meeting on September 23rd.

In summary, on September 23rd we asked the faculty to either 1) Reject the proposal to move Commencement Day to Saturday, or 2) Postpone the vote in order to provide the Chaplains’ Office with a genuine opportunity to contribute toward a solution.

Nevertheless, both of our proposed options were voted against.

As stated from the onset, we recognize that a choice was made and we will abide by it.

Our intention with this letter is not to reopen a debate that was recently closed.

However, since our views were misrepresented in a public forum, as a matter of principle we were compelled to provide an account of our experience and position.

We thank The Gustavian Weekly for the opportunity to offer our viewpoint.

If any wish to communicate with questions or comments, please call our office at 507-933-7446 or Email at bkonkol@gustavus.edu or sericks5@gustavus.edu.

With gratitude,

Chaplain Brian Konkol

Chaplain Siri Erickson