Last Friday, Chancellor James Llorens of Southern University found out that his contract for the next school year would not be renewed and would expire on June 30, 2014. The board that made this decision was made up of 16 people who have stayed relatively quite since the vote was made. The exception to that statement is Ronald Mason, the President of Southern University.
Mason said that he stands by his statement that Llorens’ contract should be extended for one year. This would include some of Llorens’ power being given to Mason. The students of Southern University in Baton Rouge have not taken this decision lightly. The President of the Southern Student Government Association organized a protest rally to keep Llorens as the chancellor.
The students’ protests were so effective that the board has agreed to meet again to discuss Llorens’ contract. This proves that the old grassroots ways of protest should not be forgotten in today’s times. The students would not stand for this ruling and they have made enough noise via social media and in the school that they are making the board take a second look.
This situation paints Mason as the bad guy. To the public, it seems like he is trying to take the power for himself and not let the students have the candidate that they want for the job. The best way for Mason to handle this situation would be to issue a public statement to the students to ask them what they want and put some of the power into their hands. If he opened an online forum of some sort, the students could voice their reasons as to whether or not they would like Llorens to stay as the chancellor of the school and the board can base their decision on the student’s voices. If Mason stands behind the students, he will get back in their good graces and the university will function even better than before.