Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Urgo: A Postmortem

I liked Dr. Joseph Urgo from the very first day I realized I could combine his name into Jurgo (I think multiple people realized this at the same time, idk). I still like him and still think he was a pretty okay President. There are definitely some things that he did that I disagreed with like:
  • Restructuring of Admissions and Financial Aid(e)
  • Firing of Edgar
  • Pat Goldsmith
  • "failure to engage with student activists re: living wage and meatless mondays"
  • Rebranding as a more "elite/quasi-private" school
  • Fedoras
  • Leslie's massive power over staff 
But what I really liked about him, more than Maggie, was that he was visible. I met Maggie twice, and only because of my involvement in SGA. And granted, he was probably very visible to me because it was his first year, and he wanted to make a good/visible presence that first year, so my thoughts and memories are a bit rose-tinted I suppose. So here are some of my fond memories of the man:
  • Inviting he and his wife to dinner at our Townhouse Senior Year
  • Vespa Scooter
  • Weekly Open Hour
  • Weekly Radio Show
  • Beard
  • Baldness
  • Kinda funny and very casual with students
  • Let us get eat crabs and drink at his house (buy it now for only 900k!)
  • p chill dude
So IDK I mean it's definitely easy to blame this whole situation on Urgo, and probably a lot of it is his fault, but I still liked the dude I guess. That said, my favorite Townie made this for the blog, a SMCM Red Wedding~

 So leave your thoughts in the comments, what his "legacy" will be (via hot or not)


  1. Goddamnit i need to start reading/watching Game of Thrones. It's actually getting in the way of my internetting now....

  2. With only three years, I'm not even sure he'll really have a long-term legacy/picture up in the library (the True Test of Longevity). And honestly, as an alumni who was only there for the one year honeymoon period of the Cult of Urgo, I don't know how to feel about that.

    I definitely liked that he seemed open to speaking with students and being visible, but at this point it's hard not to doubt the sincerity of all that. The recent events just cast a really negative light, and I'm left wondering how much of it was putting on airs, how much of it was disconnect between what the St. Mary's community wanted and what he wanted, and how much was just plain mismanagement of situations and the gaffes that followed.

    The bigger issue, though, is that St. Mary's is going to have to confront a lot of the issues that have come up in the past few years and will not go away by simply changing our President: namely, how we identify ourselves as an institution, exhibit our values and morals as an institution, and remain authentically St. Mary's in a world where both college faculty and staff specifically, and the liberal arts more generally, are criminally undervalued.

    The good news is we now have a great example of the true power students, alumni, faculty, and staff can wield. It's truly inspiring to see REAL CHANGE and REAL ACTIVISM in our community, and it makes me proud to be an alum. Now let's put this behind us as amicably as possible and get to work.

  3. Urgo in his first year was a big difference from Urgo in years two and three. I think the first year was an aberration.