There are 21,873 students at this University. And there’s thousands more faculty, administration and support staff.

By Gus Bode

But when Chancellor Walter Wendler checked his email last week for feedback on the Southern at 150 plan, only 30 people took the time to respond.

As students, employees and affiliates of SIU, an institution solidifying the building blocks of our future, we wonder why more people are not taking the time to do the same for our school.

Southern at 150, essentially a set of long-term goals for the University to reach by its 150th year in 2019, was created from committee discussions of about 200 people from all different positions on this campus. They set aside their personal time in the hope of bettering SIU. They went to painstaking detail to think of every loophole, downfall and improvement to amend in the future.


They can’t possibly think of everything though. By offering your suggestions and opinions, the original 200-member committee multiplies to the thousands. Two heads are better than one, and thousands of heads are better than 200, as the old saying would concur.

As students preparing to graduate in the next few years, maybe there is a general sense of “this isn’t going to affect me, so why should I care?”

Everyone should care about SIU’s future.

Perhaps after you speed away from Carbondale with your diploma in hand and begin to explore the job market, you will realize SIU could provide the perfect job opportunity.

Or maybe your children or future children will follow in your footsteps and show up at SIU’s door in 18 years. What kind of house do you want them to enter? Picture unkempt disarray – everyone running amok with underpaid, underqualified professors at the helm and technology enveloped in a tight rope of cobwebs.

Once again, planning takes time. Nobody has ever said, “gee, I could have procrastinated for a while longer and the end product would have been much more beneficial.”

Chancellor Wendler told the Daily Egyptian editorial board last week that he feels students have a general commitment to the Southern at 150 plan.


Wendler said he received one email addressing a lack of international issues touched upon in the document. Because of that individual’s attention to detail, the committee is now reviewing the plan to determine how they can increase attention is that area.

Obviously everyone’s concerns cannot be addressed, but everyone should take interest in Southern at 150. If not for the University, then do it for the pride of knowing you started something that will one day benefit thousands of people.

Wendler can be emailed at [email protected]. To view a copy of Southern at 150, visit and go to the news link.