Ordinations and Boards of Trustees

John Hamilton, priest, as of 12:00 noon yesterday. It was a great service, and Grace Church Newark is a beautiful church! Neil Alexander, Bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta, where John is Canonically resident, presided. Of course, this makes me think about what will be happening to me several months from now, LORD willing!
I participated in the GTS Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, as a Student Representative. I have only one more meeting before I rotate off the Board. During the Education and Formation Commission meeting, of which I am a member, I realized that much of what I bring to the commission is negative. Frankly, while most all of us are very glad we came to General, there is a lot of negative feelings among students concerning the way the place is run, etc. Now, I well know that part of the job of being a student is to complain, but many of the complaints are warranted.
I think I bring a lot of baggage from working at Kent State. We would often hear of what was presented to the Board of Trustees and think, “That isn’t right!” I believe that Board members, whether at KSU or GTS, often do not get an accurate picture of what is going on within the institution. How can they when most come to a campus for a couple of days a couple of times a year? I find myself wanting to make sure they know the down side, when during the plenary sessions of the meetings most of what we hear is positive, with exceptions. It is true that the institution is far from failing and things generally look good, but there are problems and the Trustees need to be aware of them so that they have a clear picture of the overall institution in order to make informed decisions.
The problem with being the bearer of “bad” news or negative comments is that you (I) end up looking like that bad guy or the malcontent. I don’t necessarily think my fellow Board members see me in this light, although they may, but I do fear I am on the edge of such a reputation. I suspect I need to exercise a little more restraint and balance!

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