Save LCCC’s nameless letter promotes fear, not change, in college

People often choose to be anonymous, and with justifiable reasons, whether it’s a demotion, being fired, or a negative response from other staff. There are plenty of warranted reasons not to put your name on something.
However, anonymous sources cause a great risk to their message: Readers will lose confidence in what the anonymous author was trying to state: You can say anything, after all, without a name attached to it. That’s exactly what happened when an email from an anonymous group called ‘Save LCCC’ was distributed.
The open letter made many valid points, but without a source or a name attached to it, it loses any ability to make the kind of difference pleaded for by those who wrote it.
The public already has doubt and chronic mistrust in the media, and anonymous sources make that mistrust even worse. It looks, quite frankly, like we are just making things up. A news source (yes, us) can’t follow-up on the letter to clarify points, or give the writers a platform to further explain their points or ensure their message is heard.
What’s even worse is the culture of fear the letter seems to procreate. The author could have shown a lot of courage by presenting these valid points of discussion and signing a name (or several). Instead, why would anyone feel brave enough to offer their names if the author didn’t?
As a result, few faculty members were willing to speak on the record. Just like the anonymous email, they had much to say, but no one felt comfortable putting a name on it. There seems to be a culture of fear among the staff and faculty when it comes to speaking out against the school.
This is confusing to us. President Joe Schaffer doesn’t seem to be a Trump-like leader who will scream, “You’re Fired” at the first hint of criticism, especially after he took the open letter seriously enough to promise to host some town-hall-like meetings with the Faculty Senate to address the comments and encourage others to speak out. Yet the fear remains, and we can’t help but notice that when incidents occur, such as a successful women’s soccer coach losing his job for no reason before being given one more year after a public outcry, that fear seems justified.
Schaffer did give us an interview, and he said this kind of feedback given by the open letter isn’t unusual. We’d like to see more people prove that offering that kind of open feedback, the kind that we hope occurs at those town hall meetings, won’t mean any kind of punishment.
Schaffer sent a response to the open letter to faculty and staff to express support for his current administration, and it was obvious the letter bothered him, especially when he said it was written “under the cowardice of anonymity.”
The letter essentially gave Schaffer the opportunity to respond to the anonymity of the letter. Just imagine if “Save LCCC” did sign a name (or names) and Schaffer had to address the accusations.

1 Comments

  1. Shimon Nyman

    Reply

    This is the response of a dictator who doesn’t want to be called out. Or a bootlicker to the same

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