The Portraits of Chivers

Anthony Harris

Opinions News Section Editor

One Wednesday morning twenty minutes before my noon class, I decided to do something I very rarely do: I decided to go to lunch. I walked in o the cafeteria, pulled my wallet from the dark recesses of my trench coat, walked through the cafeteria to collect my fried chicken, and sat in the front of the cafeteria.

My mind wandered throughout the room to all the portraits of the presidents. Hope stood steadfastly, hands in pockets. Keith stood relaxed, beaming smile, one hand in pocket. Gloster stood stolidly before a chair. Massey attempted to outshine all in full academic regalia and a shining medallion. But it was Mays that most impressed me as he stood in his office with some sort of paper in his hand. Even while posing for a portrait, the man looked like he was working.

During the long process of selecting the new president of Morehouse College, this is the one characteristic that should shine above all: the work ethic. We should not have presidents that stand on the sidelines, delegate all tasks but fundraising, or make every attempt to glisten and shine to show the illusion of efficiency. What we need in a president is a worker, one whose diligence stands for the betterment of the institution of all fronts from acquisition of funds to the further construction of the campus to the purpose of the school: education.

Our new president needs to give focus to all of the liberal arts, English as well as science. Sociology as much as History. Our president has to be in tune with the needs of his students from the inefficiencies of the financial aid system to the steady decrease of morale.

If there is anything this past year has taught us, it is that the failure of infrastructure and morale will lead to tension at home. No matter how we attempt to keep up appearances to the rest of the world, all of our secrets will eventually come to light. Glossing over the homosexual community brought about the 2002 assault. Glossing over gender relations brought about last months rape accusations and protests.

A few weeks ago, a few students had an intimate meeting over the kind of person that they wanted for president. The opinion overall was for one that was more connected to the campus. The opinion overall was for a president that showed a genuine interest in Morehouse and her students as opposed to glad-handing checkbooks at the four corners of the earth.

We need a new Mays who is willing to get to know the students and engage them without office hours. We need a new Mays who is willing to instill a yearning to learn all subjects equally to make better Black men to take on the world. We need a new Mays who is willing to accept diversity and change that is representative of today’s Black race. And we still need a Massey that can extract resources from various locations when alumni are reticent to donate to their beloved alma mater.

A new portrait should be prepared for Chivers. This portrait should be of a strong Black man that is capable of leading a Black institution. This portrait should be of a strong Black man that is ready and willing to take charge of this school at all fronts. This portrait should be of a man that looks like he’s ready for work. There is a lot of work to be done here, and I hope that he’s on a Bluetooth headset in that portrait while filling out some form of paperwork.


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