I believe that there are certain things that you just shouldn’t get credit for…
Paying your bills on time.
Respecting your Elders.
Staying faithful to your spouse.
Providing for your children.
Having your family’s back.
Loving God with all your heart, soul and mind.
Loving your neighbor as you love yourself.
There are some things that grown, mature, responsible human beings just do. We do them without form and we do them without fashion and we do them without calling the newspaper simply because they are the right thing to do. How foolish would I be if I nominated myself for husband of the year each time that I killed a spider or woke my wife up at her specified time from a nap or took her to get a massage. I don’t sound a trumpet- I don’t pull an alarm when I take care of my wife because looking after her is what I’m supposed to do! It’s what I promised God, my family, her family, my friends and her friends that I would do on June 9, 2007 and quite frankly the way that I handle my husbandly business is really no one else’s business…
Here’s my point:
I received a news bulletin today that the State of South Carolina no longer intends to pursue a proviso that would shut down my beloved South Carolina State University. Instead, the story in the press goes on to mention that the legislature will pay closer attention to the election of Trustees at SCSU because there are people who are invested, elected and entrusted to run the school who would never be elected to the board of one of the State’s “flagship” schools. The story further noted that the President and entire board of Trustees would be fired and control for the school will be turned over to the State Budget and Control Board for future, strict oversight…
This story has popped up on social media to a cacophony of “Hallelujah’s” and “Thank You Jesus” responses. I haven’t shouted over this news yet and here’s why:
SCSU was NEVER going to close!!! Never! Not once! The well trumpeted vote by the Higher Education Sub-Committee can best be described as an attention-grabbing temper tantrum. There was no way under the sun that the State of South Carolina was going to voluntarily surrender accreditation for a school that they are responsible for only to spend taxpayer dollars to sponsor scholarships to another one of their (marginally overcrowded) schools. SCSU was NEVER in danger of closing. I knew that, most of you knew that and the legislature knew that so 3 of the 4 people who voted to close it last week opted to embarrass the University with a token, meaningless vote that was squarely aimed at generating and producing a headline.
I didn’t cut a rug or enter a praise break when I received the story today because all the Legislature has promised to do concerning SCSU is what they already should have been doing towards SCSU! South Carolina State should have never had an opportunity to amass this debt or be in this predicament because:
Legislative oversight should have ensured that SCSU was properly funded.
The legislature should have monitored resources both in and out of SCSU both during and after the economic downturn of 2008.
The legislature should have performed a full audit once the chairman of the board of Trustees was indicted for public corruption.
The legislature should have resisted the attempts of other colleges and universities to dilute the course offerings that were unique to SCSU by duplicating them at their own institutions.
The legislature should have paid as close attention to who is on the board at State as they do concerning their research institutions in Columbia and Clemson.
So, forgive me if I sit this celebration out. I choose not to get in the Spirit when Husbands, Wives, Stewards, Trustees, Legislatures do what they are supposed to do.
I am not excited that the absentee legislature of South Carolina has now a firm and vested interest in the school that shaped me- instead, I ask those who write my laws the same question that any child would that’s just meeting someone that claims to be their Father for the first time…
Where in the world have you been for so long?
God’s Best be With You Always,
Rev. Sterling J. Dowling