NEW YORK – Marymount Manhattan College (MMC) is a small liberal arts college located on the Upper East Side here. The beginning of the spring terms marked a fundamental change in the way MMC is administered.

A new president – Judson R. Shaver, Ph.D., a conservative budget-slashing cowboy – was selected. Since his inauguration, progressive programs in the once very progressive college are getting their funds cut left and right.

Shaver is attacking minority-based and gender-based scholarships and programs. One such program is the Community Leadership Program (CLP). The CLP is a scholarship that is granted to minority youth who devote their time to volunteering in non-profit, community-based organizations.

The students of the CLP recently received a brief, one-paragraph statement in the mail, informing them of the cuts to their summer and winter semester funds. The CLP was a growing program that was encouraging its students to go out and change the world for the better.

The cutting of funds was not the only attack on the CLP, though. Three weeks before the announcement of the cuts, the director of the CLP was fired for administrative infractions.

All signs indicate that Shaver is out for blood. He has initiated a review of these “special programs,” which he believes do not maximize profits. Other progressive programs on his hit list are the Educational Enrichment Program, Women in Urban Leadership, Higher Education Opportunity Program and the list goes on.

At a time when funds from the City University of New York and other colleges are being cut, this can be expected of Shaver, but not accepted. The CLP students, in coalition with the Young Communist League (YCL) of MMC, are fighting back.

The administration expected the students of these programs to be demoralized and unorganized. They were extremely wrong. Students from the CLP and YCL marched into a meeting Shaver was attending and demanded to speak to him.

He responded to their pleas callously and unremorsefully, saying, “You should appreciate what you have and not what was taken away from you.”

Shaver has an “if you give them and inch, they’ll take a mile” mentality. The students of the CLP don’t want a mile; they just want their inch back.

The author can be reached at pww@pww.org

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