LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The failures of HLS

BY CHARLES FACKTOR

In your most recent edition, an article points out that HLS has made it very difficult for students to pick their own classes on a timely basis. The article explains that for some reason known only to the under-employed HLS staff, students are forced to select their courses almost a year before they take them, making the classes irrelevant, and often reflective of a passing interest rather than a true vocational passion.

As an HLS graduate, I couldn’t agree more with this well written article. One must wonder why the HLS staff so consistently places its own interests above those of its customers (the students). Let’s explore other ways in which this trend also exhibits itself:

1) Why does the HLS staff sit on hundreds of millions of dollars of cash, and then turn around and consistently jack up tuition beyond the rate of inflation?

2) Why does the HLS staff provide the best parking spaces for the faculty, when students and their vehicles have the status of the homeless?

3) Why does the HLS staff protect hundreds of millions of dollars in endowment, while forcing students to take on 100,000 dollars in debt in 3 years, which when interest is added in, will force the students to pay back 200,000 dollars over the first 10 years after they graduate?

4) Why does HLS pay faculty a fortune, while at the same time providing poverty wages for those employees of HLS who are not faculty members?

5) Why does HLS sit on hundreds of millions of dollars, when its students live in dorm rooms that have all the luxury of an orphanage?

6) Why does HLS not care more about its students or its graduates?

7) Why don’t the students do something about the situation?

Year after year, students and graduates plea for redress of their grievances, and time and again the HLS staff turns a deaf ear to their weeping! The ivy at HLS grows faster, than the HLS staff is willing to promote positive change! At some point in time, when the students of HLS are noticing their own tortured faces carved into the rock of Austin Hall’s outer walls, will they not sorrow for their own destiny? (AND WHAT MIGHT BE THEIR DESTINY? ) A large law firm working 100 hours per week to pay back HLS debt? Their youthful brilliance fading in the withering light of windows which cannot be opened? Their hands veined stained with the exhaustion of too many computer keyboards? Their eyes permanently etched in red, from too much work, while the world wanders around them having a real life? The joy they will watch on the faces of a stranger’s children; when their own children are again deferred? A life that could have been great before HLS debt drowned the baby in the bath?

Enough! The destiny of HLS is in all of our hands; the future ought not be as dim as the past has been. If enough students demand peaceful change from the indifferent HLS staff, will not the soft winds of hope blow upon our sorrowful campus? Cannot we advocate for ourselves, if we are ever to advocate successfully for others?

Please don’t accept the low expectations that the HLS staff has set for HLS. We can do better!

Fair Winds and Following Seas,

Charles FacktorHLS Class of 1990

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