MU students have mock funeral for French program, other cuts

Manchester University students begin their protest march from Petersime Chapel to Tall Oaks, home of MU President Dave McFadden. Photo by Joseph Slacian

By Eric Christiansen

NORTH MANCHESTER -- Students at Manchester University had a mock funeral on Friday, May 10, for, they said, the university's liberal arts program. University officials recently announced cuts to the program which included the elimination of the French program. Several staff members are expected to lose their positions as well.

The students had a ceremony at Petersime Chapel, then marched across campus to Tall Oaks, home of University President Dave McFadden. There, the students heard taps played, as well as a few speeches from classmates.

The ceremony, attended by nearly 100 students and supporters, lasted approximately 40 minutes and included eulogies from five Manchester students, a choir, and a casket draped with the French flag.

“I appreciate the passion that our students have around these issues,” President McFadden said. “When they said they were going to have a protest, they described the nature of the protest … they were going have a funeral. I described it to a number of people both as heartfelt on their part, and very creative.

“When they came down the driveway at Tall Oaks, I thought they were doing a great things. It was very respectful on their part, and one of the things that I appreciated was they had a chance to talk with our trustees.”

McFadden said the trustees were glad to stand out and connect with the students Friday night.

“Several of the trustees spent 15-20 minutes talking with the students and were genuinely interested in talking with them,” he said.

An obituary was also included for the ceremony.

“Liberal Arts Education, age 130, of North Manchester, Indiana, passed away on Monday, April 29, at 4:26 p.m. after a courageous battled against the Marketplace.

As a teacher, Liberal Arts Education had a passion for instilling critical thinking skills into their students. One of their greatest accomplishments was preparing students to live productive and principled lives.

They strongly believed that the future of society would thrive if their students were given the tools to debate and to speak for a personal conviction.”

Posted on 2019 May 14