September 24, 2020
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Classic Signals: Students voice concerns on campus

Every week, Features Editor Ashton Leber hits the archives and finds old Signals that relate to current College topics and top stories.

Within the last year, students have voiced their concerns to College President R. Barbara Gitenstein. It began with the namesake of Paul Loser Hall, which gathered a group of eager students hoping for change on campus and to rid the name of Loser’s segregationalist past. When TCNJ Clinic was nearly closed, students did everything in their power to save it. Eventually their concerns were heard when the College decided to incorporate the clinic in a new health and wellness center. It’s important that students at the College feel they have the ability to speak up when concerns arise, and students should feel that there is someone willing to help find a solution. In 1970, students wrote a letter to then President Robert Heussler voicing their concerns with issues on campus.

Former president receives a letter about issues at the College.

We, the students, handed the President a list of grievances on Wednesday, December 17, 1969. We, the students, gave the President until February 4, 1970 to answer our demands.

And what will the answer be? “Well the showers will be fixed in the boys’ locker room, the clocks in Green Hall will also be fixed and we’ll see if we can remind the custodian each day to fly the American flag.”

And what about the parking lots? “They’re in the master plan of the college.” And what about the classrooms and offices being removed from the dorms? “That’s in the master plan also.”

“Oh, by the way, the girl’s curfew will be in effect the second week of the second semester, pre registration is in the planning stage as is almost everything else on your list.”

And what about the security we need so desperately on this campus? And what about the 4-1-4 credit system? And what about tuition increases?

These things aren’t really campus matters and these grievances the state will refuse to correct.

Therefore, from a list of 26 grievances, we will be told either that each is in the planning stage or in the master plan of the college. So now what do we, the students, do?

We can wait until the decision is made on the fourth and then, as a student body, decide what to do. This is what the S.E.B. thinks is the right way. This is also what the petitioners did for four hours the same night Dr. Heussler was reinstated. This is what students did last May at the Higher Education Building in Trenton after being told Trenton State would have rent increase.

What we need now is a good effective plan that can be brought before the entire student body on the fourth. A plan is needed to unify the students so action can take place immediately. We can not make irrational decisions that day. The most important grievances — the ones against the state  — will not be answered unless the state is pressured.

We, the students, have started something. We, the students, should continue this fight.

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