#Students' Rights
Peabody Administration
United States of America

December 12, 2008

To the Peabody Community:

Official notification of the Holiday Closing was sent out via e-mail on Dec. 8, 2008. A petition was drawn up two days later on Dec. 10 to express concerns about the closing and the lack of preparation and time we had to deal with this policy.

Signatures were collected, but in order to reach the entire Peabody community as soon as possible, we requested to broadcast this petition online through the Peabody broadcast e-mail list on Dec. 11. The request was rejected.

Now the only way for students, staff and faculty to find out about this petition and express their support is through word of mouth and advertisement.

Please read the petition below because this is too important. Peabody needs to hear your voice. Send an e-mail to petition08@jhu.edu with your name to express your support.

To the Peabody Administration:

We, the undersigned, are voicing our concern about Peabody's recent announcement about the Holiday Closing from Dec. 24, 2008 to Jan. 3, 2009. OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION OF THE CLOSING WAS SENT TO THE PEABODY COMMUNITY ON DEC. 8, 2008. An e-mail in the second week of December to inform the community of the holiday closing is extremely late notice for many of us to adjust our plans accordingly.

International students are especially affected, having made plans to stay in town to practice over the break. Other students have made similar plans. Instruments will suffer the effects of the temperature change. Teachers would also like to be able to have access to their studios to give extra lessons for upcoming performances and auditions, many of which occur in January.

This may not be possible with the current economic crisis, which we fully recognize as also impacting Peabody’s situation. It appears, however, that the decision was made public too late, and we would like the Peabody community to know that this reflects a greater problem of communication and priorities between students, faculty, staff and administration.

We feel it is our right to express dissent regarding the policy because of the way in which the issue was handled. On Dec. 5, OASIS pointed out in their meeting that there was an open forum to discuss these issues in mid-November. Nowhere was it mentioned in the e-mails advertising the forum that the closing of the school would be a topic of discussion. Had people known that this issue would be on the agenda, we believe students affected by the policy would have represented themselves.

We understand that sacrifices must be made to alleviate the economic situation, and we also believe that every member of this conservatory would gladly work together to push Peabody through this time of crisis. This is already happening with individuals willing to make a difference. Our concern is, though, what happens if our input has no impact? That is the purpose of this petition. It comes in a time of crisis to let everybody know where our priorities are.

We hope you will join us in signing this petition here and by sending an e-mail with your name to petition08@jhu.edu.

The Peabody Voices: in response to winter closing policy petition to Peabody Administration was written by Sheng-Yuan Kuan and is in the category Students' Rights at GoPetition.