It is to be hoped that the open letter to Keith Lilley and Brian Cantor featured on the front cover of this edition of Nouse will serve as the high-water mark of administrative and managerial bad faith at York. It is a sign that academics, staff and students alike are sick and tired of underhand, cloak-and-dagger policies designed to sneak budget cuts past all of us under the guise of temporary measures or setbacks.
It is first and foremost, of course, a letter about the porters. We believe that every member of this University, in one way or another, has a reason to be thankful for their presence; whether it is for as simple a service as helping us out with an embarrassing lost key scenario, or assisting our inebriated selves back to our rooms; or as dramatic a rescue as chasing thieves away from a broken window and comforting the weeping almost-victim. There is an endless reservoir of anecdotal evidence for the sterling job that porters do.
Perhaps even more importantly, however, this is a letter that demands a future where all administrative procedures are performed transparently, and in public view. Nobody with an ounce of sense would argue that budget cuts are not sometimes necessary, but if this letter contains any message at all it should be that we as students, we as the population, we as the shareholders and stakeholders in the community that is the University of York, would much prefer to be told, to be asked, and to be consulted about them. It is in this spirit of openness that this letter was written, it is in this spirit of openness that this letter was signed by a broad swathe of the University’s population, and it is in this spirit of openness that this letter is published. We very much hope that it is received in the spirit it is intended.