Protest is scheduled for 3:30 p.m tomorrow October 1 in front of the library building.
September 30, 2018-Purdue Northwest Chancellor Thomas Keon announced that, beginning in May 2019, students at the campus would no longer receive Purdue University degrees. Instead, students will receive a degree granted by Purdue University Northwest. Previously the only differentiation between a degree granted from a West Lafayette student and students at the Hammond campus was the designation “granted at Hammond, Indiana” which appeared on the bottom of the degree.
Students immediately planned a protest to oppose the move. Kathleen Franklin, junior communication major at PNW, said that the students were promised a Purdue University diploma and that students were not consulted about the diploma change. “I believe it should stay the same,” Franklin said. “If they must change it, I believe student and faculty input is a must before they do anything permanent.”
Julia Cook-Jones, senior human resource management major and communication minor, said she feels PNW is driven by profits and not by their students. “Their mission statement, vision and purpose are all fake,” Cook-Jones said. “Students have a Dean of Students so our voices can be heard, however, we are still silent.”
Cook-Jones said that the university has ignored students since Purdue University Calumet and Purdue North Central unified in 2016 and became Purdue University Northwest. “This is more than just a name change on a degree, this is about unification,” Cook-Jones said. “Unification relates to the common interests of humanity. Did the chancellor ask us how we feel? No! Did he do a petition? No! Did he tell us face to face? No! What chancellor hides behind an email instead of understanding what his students need to be academically successful?”
Franklin and Cook-Jones have arranged for a protest against the diploma change on Oct. 1 in front of the Student Union Library at the Hammond campus. They are also starting a petition on change.org titled, “Keep the Purdue Degree at PNW”.
“Protests are made to hear the voices of others. We were granted with the First Amendment for a reason,” Cook-Jones said. “PNW does not listen or understand the needs and wants of their students. We need to protest for a number of other issues, such as making this a parent-friendly campus.”
Franklin said she is protesting because the student’s voices are not being heard. “I believe that the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees see us as dollar signs and not as people,” Franklin said. “To some alumni, this is their entire life’s goal, so to be ignored feels like a slap to the face.”