By: Alyson Peabody, Editor-in-Chief
Acts of intimidation from USM employees toward student leaders will not be tolerated.
There are 256 documented purchase order violations and several folders containing intimidating emails written by USM employees toward members of the Student Senate and other Student Communication Board entities. Violations include not meeting the quota for three signers and improperly filling out the forms prior to using money from student accounts.
I have been experiencing these internal political issues since I became EIC in May. These issues have been progressively worsening for several months, but because I am a student, I have felt powerless. When I applied for this job, I was unaware that I would be walking into a toxic environment where USM employees are circumventing proper procedures to distribute money the way they choose to with disregard for how their actions are affecting student organizations.
Not only am I trying to do my job, but I also have to constantly double-check everything I sign to make sure I am not being conned into signing a form that could put me in violation or that could threaten the financial future of our newspaper.
I should be focusing on my two jobs. I should be making sure I am doing well in classes. Instead, the amount of stress added to my role as EIC has resulted in declining health and my dropping several classes because I can’t focus on my education. I can only focus on the horrible things happening to people I care about as USM employees undercut proper financial procedures.
The worst part of this situation is seeing people I work with being treated with disrespect for doing their jobs. We have 10 years of financial documentation that is available upon request at any time. We do not hide our books or refuse anyone from seeing them. We have financial transparency. We expect the same level of respect from the university.
My trust in university employees who are supposed to be helping student organizations succeed is broken. I refuse to be told who I can talk to. I refuse to be silent in the face of actions that put myself and the entirety of this newspaper at risk.
Moving forward, I need student leaders to pay attention to how they are being treated publicly and behind closed doors. Document everything. Ask questions. If you think something is not being done according to procedure, look into that right away.
The longer it takes someone to raise their hand in objection, the more likely the guilty party is to think it’s okay to walk over you to get what they want.