You won’t get a penny from me

By adviser Apr 16, 2021
Professor of Anthropology Chuck Springwood visiting with students at an event on campus. Photo: Illinois Wesleyan University
Professor of Anthropology Chuck Springwood visiting with students at an event on campus.
Photo: Illinois Wesleyan University

Since this is my final year at IWU, I have been reflecting a lot on my time here and why I chose to attend in the first place. The thing about IWU is that they make a fantastic first impression. Somehow, they convinced me to give up a full ride to another CCIW school because they made themselves seem “different.” 

The thing about spending all of your money on first impressions is that they don’t last. There is a reason why IWU has such a high transfer rate. That first impression that they were “better” and “different” truly did not last long for me. 

Starting my freshman year, I took some courses in Anthropology because I found them to be fascinating and, although they were not requirements for me, I thoroughly enjoyed them. A big part of that was because multiple of these courses were taught by professor Chuck Springwood. 

Professor Springwood’s sense of humor and passion for what he is teaching is a rare thing to find and  it made his classes some of my favorite. You never knew what to expect. 

Even now, everytime I run into professor Springwood on campus or in the Bloomington-Normal community he stops to greet me and ask how I am doing. I have not met anyone who has bad things to say about professor Springwood and many students agree that he is a fantastic presence on this campus. 

Earlier this year, The Argus reported on IWU’s budget cuts that caused students and alumni alike to accuse the school of straying from its liberal arts values and humanitarian focus. One of the results of these cuts was the termination of professor Springwood’s position even though he had tenure and spent years of his career giving to this campus and its students. 

Professor Springwood is facing some long-term health issues and the termination of his employment is nothing short of evil. This mistreatment of a well-loved professor and positive influence on my time here was the first thing that made me decide that I will never donate a penny to this institution. It was the first of many things that made me realize that the place that was presented to me on my visits is not the reality of what IWU is. 

On top of this straying away from the humanities there is also the deafening silence and mishandling of racial issues on this campus. 

As a student of color I never really felt at home here and I know that my black and brown classmates did not either. The universtiy failed to say ‘Black Lives Matter’ way too many times to count throughout this year and did close to nothing to address the discomfort of BIPOC students. 

Now there is the Sigma Chi incident. As editor of The Argus I was apalled to hear that administrators were encouraging sources not to respond to us on the topic. I sent an email requesting an interview from administrators at 3 p.m. and, without responding to me, they sent out an email to the entire campus on the topic an hour later. It could not have been more clear that they were trying to control the narrative so that they don’t lose wealthy alumni donations. 

The school really has some nerve going forward with ‘All in for Wesleyan’ and congratulating themselves on the money earned after everything that took place this last year. 

This is no longer a liberal arts school and it is clear that money is the only thing that IWU’s administration is worried about. I will not be recommending IWU to anyone and will not be donating a single penny at any point in the future. Disappointed is an understatement.

By adviser

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