As a board, we frequently oppose grandiose displays of privatization and suppression of free expression.
This is essential, but a critique of the bureaucratic processes by which these decisions are made is also necessary to change the direction our University is heading.
The prevailing methodology employed by the University is comparisons between ourselves and similarly situated universities.
This board opposes this process due to the lack of democratic accountability, the distortion of university standards and the increased financial evaluation of the University.
Comparative studies fundamentally remove democratic accountability by considering universities' standards in comparison to other universities.
In practice, a new student union would generate more perceived value than responding to students' demands for the removal of Silent Sam, as the new union would provide a direct point of comparison between UNC and other institutions.
The question therefore becomes how UNC stands in relation to its peers. With this move, normative considerations are removed from the processes.
Community members are unable to decide the future of the university, as the future is determined by the present conditions of other universities. This preempts the community’s ability to produce norms and values to guide the university.
Community discourse and the democratic process itself are subservient to the norms of other universities. The comparative study becomes the exact apparatus that excludes community voices from determining the university's future.