“Do You Agree With Jack?”

By [email protected]


“Do you agree with Jack?” This is the refrain heard every year at this time; if you go anywhere near the David Eccles School of Business, you can’t help but encounter this question written in chalk. As a current student in the Master of Business Administration program and an alumnus of the University of Utah Ballet Department, I do agree that it is important for alumni to support the education system that assisted them in improving their futures.

However, I also know that alumni are more likely to support a university they feel treated them with dignity and respect, not just because that is where they acquired their education. There are many issues the University of Utah would do well to address in order to ensure optimal alumni support-the attitudes of departments when dealing with students is an essential first step. While not all departments treat students with disdain, the few that most students cannot help but come into contact with are the guiltiest.

Parking Services is one department that readily comes to mind, and I am certain there are many students and alumni who would agree with me. There is no leeway given to students or visitors, and all are considered guilty without the option of proving themselves innocent. For example, a car will be ticketed within minutes of its meter expiring (how often do you think the meters are timed to check for accuracy??); students who park somewhere they are not ‘allowed’ to out of frustration with the lack of available parking are gleefully fined (more money for the department’s coffers); and the department will boot a vehicle for any reason it sees fit (while charging as much money as it wishes for the honor of removing the boot).

That said, what have we as students and alumni seen for the money we contribute to Parking Services? Fewer parking spaces are to be found, as more permits are sold every year and more parking spaces are taken away. I for one will be unlikely to support the University of Utah financially in any manner. Parking Services is not the only reason, but it is a huge factor in my decision. The Administration’s tacit support of the way departments treat students and visitors does not encourage me to contribute, and I wonder how many others feel the same.

Jerri NielsenMBA Student