The more you don’t know

Note from the editor: This is a work of satire. May your jimmies be forever rustled.

Unification. This one word has been sending excitement through the campuses of Johnson and Lyndon State colleges. With the Vermont State College Board of Trustees finally voting on Sept. 29, many people deeply informed on the issue are wondering, “What’s taking so long?” But what does the average college student think about this whole unification idea?

Surprisingly, not many students know about unification or are extremely misinformed. “I think it means we [Johnson and Lyndon] will start to require uniforms,” says Lucas Texas, a junior at Johnson.
“We haven’t been given all the answers, yet Jeb [Spaulding] is pushing for this merger,” says Sarah Phillips, a member of the JSC Politics Club. Students like Texas and Phillips have been seriously uninformed on this issue.

In a meeting at Johnson State on Aug. 30, students, faculty and staff had the chance to question President Elaine Collins and Chancellor Jeb Spaulding on the unification. Many questions were asked during the Q&A, and they were all answered in one way or another. Questions about the budget, timeline and benefits were posed, and Spaulding swiftly answered with comments like “we think…” or “we are unsure at this time.”

Afterward, some people expressed concerns with the Chancellor’s lack of clarity on the issue. Spaulding responded with, “When you tell them you don’t have all the answers, it makes them feel better.”
But the criticism continued, so Spaulding came up with a sure-fire way to unify the two colleges on this idea: a musical performance. When this idea was first presented at the Lyndon student meeting on Sept. 8, students from Lyndon and Johnson reacted as expected: extremely excited.

“I like how he wants us to sing and dance for the legislature,” says Johnson senior Rebecca Morris. “It seems like a great way to get the legislature on board with the unification like everyone else.”

Another big topic of discussion has been the name change. Students have voiced their concerns about the name change. The proposed name changes are Vermont State College — Johnson, Vermont State College — Lyndon. Toby Kenneth, a sophomore at Johnson said, “They sound like fake college names from a B-rated movie.” With B-rated movies being some of the best cinematic experiences, this compliment has hit home for many film goers. Sadly, many students have proposed the idea of Northern Vermont University — Johnson and Northern Vermont University — Lyndon, which would present the two colleges as a newer, stronger force in the higher education system.

With students being so uninformed on the details of unification, it seems hard to get a clear consensus on how the student body feels about the idea. With no budgetary projections, no in-depth timeline and no clear benefits over time, the public seems to be primed and ready for the unification to happen. There is a potent eagerness from the community to push this merger forward, so it seems Sept. 29 can’t come soon enough.