Board of Trustees gets an undeserved reputation

Since the decision was reached to make the abortion coverage optional in the insurance policy there’s been unfair assaults against the Board of Trustees.

Seeing as I, coordinator of the students against abortion coverage, attended the Board’s March 3 meeting, I feel it’s necessary to set the record straight.

Linda Dobb, executive vice president of BGSU, and secretary of the Board of Trustees, ensured me all Board meetings were open to the public.

At the Firelands meeting we were greeted and invited to sit in on committee meetings. I was ensured by the USG President, GSS President, and Linda Dobb that the Board didn’t vote on the policy and wouldn’t be taking any such action. During the meeting they discussed committees, voted on proposals, and let University officials speak.

USG President Aaron Shumaker failed to address the abortion coverage during his address.

Though I was unable to address the Board of Trustees, I had the opportunity to speak with each member. I gave them our support information, and discussed the cause.

One section of the meeting was “closed door.” The executive session is a time where trustees speak with legal council and discuss legal matters.

The Board didn’t “hide” in the closed meeting. It was legal, and in accordance with the Sunshine Laws of Ohio. How do I know this? I had a copy of the Sunshine Laws with me.

They may have talked about the coverage, but everyone was given the opportunity to have their opinions heard.

NARAL had the opportunity. HSAC and USG members had the opportunity, every student had the opportunity, but none took it.

The Board of Trustees aren’t a secretive group as Wagener and Khoury have displayed them.

At that meeting alone they voted on formalizing the insurance pool with the other Universities comprised of the IUC, which has saved the University millions of dollars over the last five years.

In September, they sent a budget request asking to fund an addition to the Health Center, replace the Student Services Building, and rehabilitate several halls.

Robert Sebo and his wife have given millions of dollars to the University for the Sebo Athletic Center. They’ve established the Bob and Karen Sebo Lecture Series, a seminar for entrepreneurs. They’ve even been recognized by Falcon Athletics with an Honorary Varsity Letter.

Debra Ryan donated 250,000 dollars to create the “Patrick L. and Debra Scheetz Ryan Endowed Professorship in Biology.”

Raquel Colon has been the President of the Latino Student Union.

They sponsor “The Board of Trustees Leadership Scholarship” which gives thousands to students. The Board doesn’t deserve the reputation they’ve been given.

I’m sure the supporters of the health care plan cherished the Board when they voted to make it mandatory for all students.

The Board did have a say, as we all did, but they didn’t have a vote in the matter. Ed Whipple made the decision and should be held accountable. The Board and our group pressured him and he acted accordingly.

I’d like to thank the board for the work they’ve done for BGSU, and hope they continue to listen to students who bring their concerns. I guess you can expect to see more students at your next meeting.

Send comments to Mike at [email protected].