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OT - Biondi monthly message - Office of the President

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SGA president's message sent today. He said Biondi inaccurately portrayed his actions at the SGA meeting (after stating that he didn't want to clear the record or anything). Then he appealed to the Board to oust Biondi, (after he talked about the positive effects Biondi has brought to SLU). He cited the division and turmoil as his reason. So basically the ugly scene the faculty & no-confidencers have made in going to the papers etc is the reason. But addressing them and their destructive actions isn't mentioned at all.

I think it is clear that Biondi is controversial, but these public cries/rants are not moving the University forward, they are moving their own agendas forward. I would really like to see a more professional process in this. No Board member is going to want to work with the Faculty Senate or appear before them with the current hostility they show. The Board (& Biondi) knows they will go to the media the next day and blow something out of context or proportion to push their agenda forward. Not the University forward.

Fellow BIllikens,

This past academic year has been difficult. Yet, in the midst of this turmoil, there is great hope. As I leave office, I would like to offer you my perspective, having served as your Student Government Association President for the past twelve months.

I could not be more proud of how the Association has conducted itself this past year. The Executive Board, Senators, and Committee Representatives have continually put students first. While it would have been easy to become consumed by the unrest that has been present, our assembly has fulfilled its duty of representing and advocating in the best interests of students. In times of trial, it is imperative to stay true to the best version of ourselves. It is my belief we remained thoughtful and reflective in our approach. As I depart, it is my hope that SGA continues to advocate for the students and maintains its integrity and transparency in all endeavors. For all of those who have served SGA this year--thank you.

All the while never asking for the students' (their constituents) opinions on the matter. Also SGA voted unanimously no confidence. If they were a group that advocated what the students desire, I would be closer to 60-40 or 50%. The entire student body is not firmly behind the faculty. Like any issue, we are divided. SGA advances their own interests and controls the purse strings. If they did not have the power to fund all of the CSOs, I'd suggest we just get rid of the the thing entirely.

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Saw this at the library last night. Saturday is Biondi's big 25th Anniversary soiree.

944722_10152267838980400_1197191860_n.jp

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At the time that this whole thing happened, Biondi was still scheduled to come to the faculty senate meeting. It was t the day after this that the Board sent a letter saying he and Brouster were no longer coming. Looks like you have some facts to clear up as well

Fair enough, but it doesn't really make my point any less valid. They wanted to hear what he'd say to the students, it was a regularly scheduled meeting open to the public, and they figured they were well-within their rights to go and see what would happen. Because, you know, they were.

How was their being there contrary to finding a resolution? They wanted to go and listen, from as well as we can tell. They weren't demonstrating. They weren't being disruptive. They were just there, which they were (supposed to be) allowed to do. Was their mere presence alone enough to have an effect on what Fr. Biondi had to say to the students? If that's the case, why would Fr. Biondi say things differently if they were or weren't present? Why should their presence have had an impact?

Whether or not he was still scheduled to attend the faculty meeting, these questions remain.

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Saw this at the library last night. Saturday is Biondi's big 25th Anniversary soiree.

944722_10152267838980400_1197191860_n.jp

It would probably be best to just let Biondi have his night and not pull this stunt. I am saying that as someone who thinks it is probably time for him to go.

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It would probably be best to just let Biondi have his night and not pull this stunt. I am saying that as someone who thinks it is probably time for him to go.

So, once again, there is a group thumbing their nose at Biondi and, really, a LOT of University stakeholders. The reality is that the $1,000 for the Biondi gala IS FOR SCHOLARSHIPS AND ACADEMIC INITIATIVES. But God forbid the naysayers allow anything positive to ever be associated with Biondi. But, hey, they have the RIGHT to do this... and I am sure their $1 admission will fund a lot of scholarships. :rolleyes:

This is all going to be over soon anyway, but some people are just determined to make it as nasty and ugly as possible in the interim at great loss to the University. That is what has bothered me all along. But, again, it is their RIGHT to do so.

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What would you like to see specifically?

Patience and collecting a better case against Biondi.

I think it is clear there is stuff most students don't see behind the scenes that has made Biondi so controversial. I want to see that. I want to know what is wrong. Students keep asking what is going on? What is this about? They want answers if they are out there.

But if it is because he asked 2 faculty to leave the SGA meeting, it's not going to do much convincing.

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It would probably be best to just let Biondi have his night and not pull this stunt. I am saying that as someone who thinks it is probably time for him to go.

nm

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So, once again, there is a group thumbing their nose at Biondi and, really, a LOT of University stakeholders. The reality is that the $1,000 for the Biondi gala IS FOR SCHOLARSHIPS AND ACADEMIC INITIATIVES. But God forbid the naysayers allow anything positive to ever be associated with Biondi. But, hey, they have the RIGHT to do this... and I am sure their $1 admission will fund a lot of scholarships. :rolleyes:

This is all going to be over soon anyway, but some people are just determined to make it as nasty and ugly as possible in the interim at great loss to the University. That is what has bothered me all along. But, again, it is their RIGHT to do so.

You call it thumbing their noses at Biondi - perhaps I would agree with Brian that it would be best not to do this but they can if they want. Has not Biondi thumbed his nose at them? The problem here is the idea the everybody has to submit to Biondi because he is a priest and the president of SLU is old thinking - today people have a willingness to do what they think is right and not just because the leader says so. This is why the Catholic Church has such a low rating among the majority of youth. The sooner we understand that we can not force people to do what we say and demand respect for the a person who is simply in the office regardless of their actions the sooner people will start to recognize the need to open dialogue which is the only way any disagreement ever gets solved.

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So, once again, there is a group thumbing their nose at Biondi and, really, a LOT of University stakeholders. The reality is that the $1,000 for the Biondi gala IS FOR SCHOLARSHIPS AND ACADEMIC INITIATIVES. But God forbid the naysayers allow anything positive to ever be associated with Biondi. But, hey, they have the RIGHT to do this... and I am sure their $1 admission will fund a lot of scholarships. :rolleyes:

This is all going to be over soon anyway, but some people are just determined to make it as nasty and ugly as possible in the interim at great loss to the University. That is what has bothered me all along. But, again, it is their RIGHT to do so.

I personally think he deserves to have his night. He deserves to be around until there is a Big East announcement. Then I think he steps down.

That said, Biondi and others have done little to help his cause. Every decision they makes seems like it is intended as an FU to the people that criticize him in any way. That isn't the way to stop it from becoming as ugly as possible. It is piss poor leadership and crappy crisis management.

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All the while never asking for the students' (their constituents) opinions on the matter. Also SGA voted unanimously no confidence. If they were a group that advocated what the students desire, I would be closer to 60-40 or 50%. The entire student body is not firmly behind the faculty. Like any issue, we are divided. SGA advances their own interests and controls the purse strings. If they did not have the power to fund all of the CSOs, I'd suggest we just get rid of the the thing entirely.

I tend to agree on the role of the SGA. At the end of the day this is a battle between Biondi and the Faculty. Certainly it affects the students but I don't think the SGA should have even had a vote. Biondi wants things his way and the faculty want a raise and more power. not sure where the SGA felt the need to get in the middle of this.

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I tend to agree on the role of the SGA. At the end of the day this is a battle between Biondi and the Faculty. Certainly it affects the students but I don't think the SGA should have even had a vote. Biondi wants things his way and the faculty want a raise and more power. not sure where the SGA felt the need to get in the middle of this.

The students are just SWINE (students wildly indignant [about] nearly everything).

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I tend to agree on the role of the SGA. At the end of the day this is a battle between Biondi and the Faculty. Certainly it affects the students but I don't think the SGA should have even had a vote. Biondi wants things his way and the faculty want a raise and more power. not sure where the SGA felt the need to get in the middle of this.

True. But the students pay the bills with their tuition and have an interest in maintaining quality instructors. Money talks and the students have an interest at stake.

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You call it thumbing their noses at Biondi - perhaps I would agree with Brian that it would be best not to do this but they can if they want. Has not Biondi thumbed his nose at them? The problem here is the idea the everybody has to submit to Biondi because he is a priest and the president of SLU is old thinking - today people have a willingness to do what they think is right and not just because the leader says so. This is why the Catholic Church has such a low rating among the majority of youth. The sooner we understand that we can not force people to do what we say and demand respect for the a person who is simply in the office regardless of their actions the sooner people will start to recognize the need to open dialogue which is the only way any disagreement ever gets solved.

True. But the students pay the bills with their tuition and have an interest in maintaining quality instructors. Money talks and the students have an interest at stake.

[email protected] Cheese, sure the group can have their alternative party, if it were me I would use extreme caution to make sure I knew who controlled the earth on which my feet were planted when having said affair

-to my point above, I hope a battle does not get going on thinking since students pay tuition or faculty/staff get paid by the U they have the right to an alternative party on SLU property as I am not sure they have that right

-most of all, I hope this goes away very soon so we can move on

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Is anyone here going to Fr. Biondi's anniversary celebration?

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I personally think he deserves to have his night. He deserves to be around until there is a Big East announcement. Then I think he steps down.

That said, Biondi and others have done little to help his cause. Every decision they makes seems like it is intended as an FU to the people that criticize him in any way. That isn't the way to stop it from becoming as ugly as possible. It is piss poor leadership and crappy crisis management.

I agree with this statement and it is a shame it has occurred.

Unfortunately, two wrongs do not make a right and now (as one person put it above regarding the thumbing of the noses) some of the faculty are behaving just as badly and childishly as Biondi and their reasoning is that Biondi did it so now they can too, so it just gets worse and worse and more and more disruptive. It also pulls in a lot of young and impressionable students and colors their thinking.

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...but three rights do make a left.

two wrongs do not make a right

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Is anyone here going to Fr. Biondi's anniversary celebration?

Only the insiders.

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You call it thumbing their noses at Biondi - perhaps I would agree with Brian that it would be best not to do this but they can if they want. Has not Biondi thumbed his nose at them? The problem here is the idea the everybody has to submit to Biondi because he is a priest and the president of SLU is old thinking - today people have a willingness to do what they think is right and not just because the leader says so. This is why the Catholic Church has such a low rating among the majority of youth. The sooner we understand that we can not force people to do what we say and demand respect for the a person who is simply in the office regardless of their actions the sooner people will start to recognize the need to open dialogue which is the only way any disagreement ever gets solved.

Violence solves a lot of disagreements too. Probably more than open dialogues but you're way is probably better in this situation.

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Is anyone here going to Fr. Biondi's anniversary celebration?

Message board morons not allowed.

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I'm gonna be there for a bit playing in the band. should be very interesting. I'll report what I can

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Today, in the University News, a SLU Jesuit, R. Bentley Anderson, S.J., disclosed parts of a letter sent a couple years ago (then anonymously) to the Missouri Provincial leadership of the Society. Nothing earth-shattering that we didn't already know, but I think it says a lot that Biondi's "fellow Jesuits" are speaking out in this manner.

http://unewsonline.com/2013/05/02/jesuit-discloses-letter-criticizing-biondi/


On July 4, 2010, I sent a letter to the Jesuit leadership of the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus regarding my experience as a faculty member in SLU’s Department of History and as a Jesuit living in Jesuit Hall from fall 2001 to spring 2010. My disclosure at this time is to document that at least one member of the Society of Jesus raised concerns regarding Jesuit leadership at SLU several years before the current crisis erupted. It was done in confidence as not to create a scandal. Speaking truth to power now is not scandalous; it is healing as truth brings to light that which needs healing.

In the early part of my missive, I recounted the dismissal of Jesuit faculty and staff members during my time at SLU. The decision to dismiss fellow Jesuits was made by Jesuit leaders as well as university personnel. Regarding the departures of my fellow Jesuits, I stated, “The paramount issue regarding … [the dismissed individuals -- names withheld] was that of ‘Due Process’ for Jesuits in hiring and firing …. This is a justice issue, and it is one that our lay colleagues would never be subjected to without the risk of legal action.”

Regarding the management of the University, I commented on the abolishment of the Office of the Graduate School and the resignation of a high ranking academic/administrative officer during the 2008-2010 timeframe. “These decisions and the manner in which they were carried out,” I noted, “have created an atmosphere of confusion and mistrust among the faculty toward the administration. This apparent whimsical behavior of the administration, especially that of the senior most members, has created uncertainty in the workplace. These presidential decisions point to a lack of shared governance within the University. Many of my former colleagues have commented that the University is run like a personal fiefdom and that it is governed by the political principles of Machiavelli. I would have to agree; most, even tenured faculty members, fear the administration.”

And then my letter became quite pointed, but respectful, concerning the president of SLU. “I do not know how to state this tactfully so I will just state it plainly,” I wrote. “As a person, Larry Biondi is a bully. He intimidates, he threatens, he denigrates. He has not provided Jesuit leadership to the community. Matter-of-fact, he does not interact with the Jesuit faculty on a regular basis… it appears to be the case that he can be rude and insulting without being held accountable. And no one, not even a provincial, has been able to explain or justify why he lives in his own house, away from a Jesuit residence.” I then suggested that perhaps, after 20 plus years in office, Fr. Biondi should retire.

It is quite painful to disclose this correspondence, but it is necessary if the Society of Jesus is to redeem itself. We, members of the Society of Jesus, run the risk of discrediting ourselves and all future Jesuit administrators if our lay collaborators do not know that they have been heard, that they are not alone, and that we understand what they have experienced over the years regarding the abuse of power. The only body that can hire or fire the president of Saint Louis University is the Board of Trustees. The only person who can appoint or remove the Director of a Jesuit apostolate, in this case SLU, is the Provincial of the Missouri Province. If the Jesuits are going to maintain any credibility in higher education, the leadership of the Society of Jesus needs to act. If it does not, we are witnessing the end of Jesuit-sponsored and Jesuit-led higher education. We will be left with nothing more than institutions that are but Jesuit in name only.

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-I didn't know a fellow Jesuit had a complaint and voiced it or that FrB lived in a house and not in Jesuit Hall

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-I didn't know a fellow Jesuit had a complaint and voiced it or that FrB lived in a house and not in Jesuit Hall

Fr. Biondi lives in the house across West Pine Mall from DeMattias Hall. As of the last time I looked, the name of the building is "Cartier Hall," but it is most certainly a house. On the ground floor there's a nice art gallery and some nice furniture. The upper floor has more comfortable furniture and a big screen TV and an office. The house also has a tanning bed. I've seen it all myself; I'm friends with a guy who used to work in Fr. Biondi's office and would look after the house/Fr. B's dogs whenever Fr. B was away.

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Fr Anderson was a really great prof and taught one of my history classes at SLU. He left sometime while I was there to do a sabbatical at Boston College, I believe, and didn't return. He wrote some recommendations for me, and was a kind, friendly person who I respected very much and learned a great deal from. It doesn't surprise me that he would be the one to stand up to Biondi, as he was arrested protesting at the SOA back in the day. Hopefully his courage is contagious and more people put pressure on the few who actually do have authority over Biondi.

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Fr. Biondi lives in the house across West Pine Mall from DeMattias Hall. As of the last time I looked, the name of the building is "Cartier Hall," but it is most certainly a house. On the ground floor there's a nice art gallery and some nice furniture. The upper floor has more comfortable furniture and a big screen TV and an office. The house also has a tanning bed. I've seen it all myself; I'm friends with a guy who used to work in Fr. Biondi's office and would look after the house/Fr. B's dogs whenever Fr. B was away.

-I would have never guessed :P

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