Students Take to Social Media to Voice Outcry on FSU Presidential Search

FSU presidential search
Posted at 5:30 PM, Sep 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-14 13:32:36-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (#WTXLDigital) - The FSU Presidential Search Advisory Committee announced the four finalists for the head position Tuesday. With interim president Dr. Garnett Stokes out of the running, students are taking to social media to make their voices heard.

The presidential search at Florida State University has been a hot topic for students and faculty, with some feeling as if they are not getting enough of a say in the search process.

Students make up three spots on the 26 person search committee. However, several students have voiced their concerns about a lack of representation. 

They have also been concerned about one candidate in particular: Senator John Thrasher.

Students protested at a search meeting, asking for a reconstruction of the process. They also asked for Senator Thrasher to be removed from the list of candidates. However, this failed by an 18 to 8 vote

As the only candidate who is a politician, Senator Thrasher has managed to make his way onto the list of the four finalists - a list that does not contain the name of another high profile candidate: FSU's interim president and provost, Dr. Garnett Stokes. 

Because of this outcome, students have been motivating others to make their opinion known by using the comment section of the presidential search's official site.

Hashtags such as #SlashThrasher (off the candidate list) and #ResetTheSearch are gaining momentum, as well as a Facebook page and a website about resetting the search process.

FSU Senior John Robbie Sizemore has not been very vocal about the presidential search. However, Tuesday's release of finalists motivated him to make his voice heard through Facebook. He says, "I am utterly disgusted by the committee's decision to move forward with Sen. Thrasher and leave Dr. Stokes behind."

He posted that "Dr. Stokes, in her short time as interim president has already made significant strides in progressing the plan laid out by former President Barron while at the same time succeeding at her own goals."

Adam Weinstein, a third year PhD student at Florida State, has been following the presidential search closely. Although meetings and candidates are open to the public, he believes that "so much of this process is happening in the dark, or behind closed doors."

Weinstein also says that even though he believes the decision is "predetermined," students should still express their opinion: "The only avenue we have left is to take to social media, to take to campus, to highlight the control that a few very self-interested players have had over this process, and to make clear that it's not legitimate."

If students do feel passionate about the process, they have little time left to speak out.

The Presidential Search Advisory Committee is set to narrow down the four finalists to three by September 22, with a final decision on the coveted job following a final set of interviews.

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