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McNair Scholars protest director’s resignation

McNair Scholars protest director’s resignation

McNair Scholars protest director’s resignation
April 23
16:13 2015

Edward Balusek / Visuals Editor & Hannah Ridings / Staff Photographer23_mcnair_letter1 23_mcnair_letter2

Students of the McNair Scholar’s Program protested Thursday the resignation of the group’s director Diana Elrod in front of the Hurley Administration Building.

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to “prepare juniors and seniors who are low-income, first generation, and/or underrepresented in graduate education for doctoral education,” according to the program’s website, http://trio.unt.edu/mcnair

“A lot of us don’t come from stable homes or have families or homes to go back to, and she’s someone who has demonstrated commitment to students like us,” said English senior and McNair public information officer Michael Young.

Protesters march into the Office of the President after publicly expressing their outrage in the Library Mall.

After expressing their demands to the passersby in the Library Mall from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., the students marched to President Neal Smatresk’s office to deliver letters to express their outrage.

Though Smatresk was not present, the students were not deterred.

“As underrepresented scholars who are very successful in what we do, we deserve an explanation at the very least, and a voice in future decisions which affect us,” psychology senior Sarah Palmer said.

The single letter read aloud accused Smatresk of “having little regard for students” in lieu of his “restructuring of faculty.”

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McNair Scholar’s students flash their signs that express their discontent of the resignation of Director of McNair Schoalr’s Program Diana Elrod.

 It and others go on to quote and argue the president’s State of the University address from last semester, the scholar program’s successes and Elrod’s character.

“The official line we were given was that [Elrod] spent too much time on non-grant related activities,” Young said.

The Office of the President released a statement in response to the protest

“Diana Elrod resigned from the university. Why she chose to resign is her personal business and it would be inappropriate for the university to speculate,” the statement read.

“We all love her, we all depend on her. She’s the reason we have the confidence to achieve our goals and go on to graduate school,” Young said.

Featured Image: Anthropology junior Araceli Cruz tries to contain her tears during a protest against the resignation of Diana Elrod. Photos and video by Hannah Ridings – Staff Photographer 

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