A video montage released by the Georgia Students For Public Higher Education has gone viral not for its message, but for President Mark Becker’s recorded response.
In the video, the organization reads a letter to the President “condemning the fact that [he has] not represented [students] best interests in the face of repeated tuition and fee hikes, layoffs, furloughs, and cuts to academic departments.”
In the letter, GSPHE recognized that President Becker has a very limited role in controlling these issues, but demanded that he take a stance.
President Becker declined to comment immediately so that he could “digest” the letter.
“We’re not going to go into specifics right now,” he said.
However, when members of the group pressed President Becker for an immediate response, he again declined saying the he “had a 2:30 meeting” that he “had to be at.”
One of the members then asked President Becker if they could give him a two-week deadline to respond.
“You can give me whatever you want. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to do it,” he replied.
President Becker did formally respond to the letter the day after the video was posted on April 14.
In his response, President Becker thanked the organization for sharing their concerns “about the changes to the HOPE scholarship program, about potential tuition increases, and the University System of Georgia policy regarding undocumented students. “
However, President Becker states that he has no control over either the HOPE Scholarship program nor tuition increases.
President Becker also said that he would be following directives from the Board of Regents about its policy on undocumented students. President Becker wrote, “By law, we take our direction from the Board of Regents.”
To view the video montage, please click the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnOpzvm1EJY&feature=player_embedded#at=66