Letter to the Editor: ‘I am disheartened by the SGA’s actions to approve a $150,000 sculpture’


The Whit accepts’ Letter to the Editor’ submissions every week from members of the community and university. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not The Whit or its staff.

Dear Editor,

I am writing in regards to the actions of Rowan’s Student Government Association (SGA) at their latest meeting, from the article dated on Feb. 6, 2017. In that story, reported by Justin Decker, the SGA approved the “Prof Wing” statue, to be erected outside Savitz Hall, by the clock tower. I am disheartened by the SGA’s actions to approve a $150,000 sculpture, whose main purpose of being constructed is for students to take photos with — as stated in the article — when the SGA can use that funding to serve a different purpose.
Instead of spending that money on a statue for students to merely take photos with and sport their “Prof Pride” on social media, why not erect a $150,000 memorial for the late Donnie Farrell?
In 2007, homecoming weekend, Farrell was murdered off Route 322, near Old Heston Rd., west of the shopping center. His attacker approached he and his friends, supposedly looking for directions to a party. The confrontation turned violent, resulting in the attacker punching Farrell in the neck, and causing Farrell to bleed-out internally. Still, in 2017, his killer has not been found and an award of $100,000 still remains available to anyone who has any information.
Farrell was a sophomore at Rowan when he was killed and one of the founding members of Rowan’s club lacrosse team, and was well known in his resident hall when he was killed.
To this day, there is no memorial at the location of his death. There isn’t even an area marked off. The university has not commemorated anything to the fallen Prof, nor recognized him at any of the homecoming festivities.
The club lacrosse team has held two consecutive “Lax For Donnie” tournaments to honor him, collecting money for a scholarship in his name, but that is all that is done.
As an alum who has worked closely with Farrell’s mother and helped with the first “Lax for Donnie” tournament, it was reassuring to see the support of then-SGA president Joe Chen in remembering Donnie, but that support seemed to fade away when a new year started.
How many students know that a Prof was murdered on their campus? How many know that the killer has not been found? We are all Donnie Farrell. Any one of us could have been him, and every one of us is him: students and alum with the world at our fingertips.
It is disappointing that the SGA, whose mission it is, is to support students in their endeavors, has not done anything to honor their fellow Prof, but has spent $150,000 on a statue for taking selfies with.
Ethan Stoetzer
Class of 2016
Mason City, IA
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