We’re not Harvard, Yale or Princeton

The “U” should not be an elitist institution and should cater to the needs of our region.

The University of Minnesota, Minnesota’s land-grant institution, was built on the money of Minnesota’s common people to bring education to the people of this state. The University is here to provide access to the youth of this region and cater to their needs, and not to battle in the elite arena of elite institutions.

Land-grant institutions, in general, were established to serve the needs of those within a given state. The idea is to create a university for all, not just a select few elitists from across the nation. Because access for all is an indispensable aspect of the University’s purpose, the University was able to create the first General College in the country. The University’s mission statement on Northrop Auditorium conveys that this institution seeks to devote itself to education, and more specifically, devote itself “to the instruction of the youth and the welfare of the state.” Currently, while the state fails to turn around the declining quality of K-12, the University fails to provide access to these students and help students catch up where the state has failed.

The current trend of higher education is that the cost of an education is increasing while enrollment continues to get competitive, and, yet, we fail to graduate as many doctorate students as we did in the past. The reality is that scholarship is being lost while Minnesota’s youth are being turned away. Furthermore, the restructuring of the University has deviated from the values that have a place within the state and University history. We have evolved into a society that does not trust its youth enough to take a risk in educating them. Despite the fact that Minnesota parents aid in financing the University, the state does not recognize its obligation to the taxpayers of the state.

Reflect upon the words on Northrop Auditorium and the needs of the youth; let us remember who we are here to serve. It is injustice to not work with the diversity and talent that Minnesota has to offer.