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Letter to the editor: I loved UMM but it didn't really love me back

To the editor:

Dear UMM,

I cant believe that my four years at this institution are over so fast. I feel like it was just yesterday when I had an army of movers help get my mountains of stuff to 2C of Indy Hall, meeting my roommate and everyone else on our floor. So many new experiences that I could venture down and I wanted to try them all. I loved the biology program, I loved my friends, I loved track and field, and I loved this school. But slowly, the love I had for this university slowly wasn't reciprocated back to me. People kept telling me that being a white straight guy is killing people, literally. Seemed like a stretch to me, but I never really cared what people thought. Until 2016...

During an election year, I joined the college Republicans. Not because I wanted to help campaign for Trump (let's be real, he's a dumb**s), but because I wanted to hang out with people who wanted to discuss politics openly without screaming. I opened my eyes to how open this campus could be, at least until November. The day after the election, I got threatened. Not once, but twice.

I couldn't believe the school I had loved for almost two years would let this happen. And the environment only got worse. Alienating the conservative beliefs or even rural Minnesota beliefs isn't the way to go and it has been hurting UMM for years now.

UMM is in trouble now. Since 2016, enrollment has dropped and the target audience that UMM should go for doesn't want to go here. The catering to the extreme left of the metro students isn't working anymore. A leftist from the metro doesn't want to come to a small rural town just because UMM wants to look like a diversity utopia. Yet because of this, the university is hurting and it keeps digging the hole deeper. How do you fix this? Simple: gain the town's trust back. If you can get kids from around the area to come to UMM, you expand diversity of ideas. You will also gain back the support of the Morris community and maybe the university will return to its peak. Sports would improve, and let me tell you what, sports matter. Lots of colleges all around the United States rely on sports to help with student enrollment. Morris needs help in that department and the athletics here are only getting better. Use everything at your disposal to save this university because even though it has been tough at times, I still love UMM.

UMM is home. UMM has given me the experience of a lifetime. I know that the school is divided now more than ever and money is tight for the university, but we have to try. I didn't stay at UMM for nothing. I believe that this university can save itself and can do so fast, but that means we might have to sacrifice some of the pandering to the left in the process. I hope the non-professor faculty can speak up because they see it, why can't everyone?

Godspeed UMM,

Matthew Kingland

UMM graduate from Owatonna

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