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MUM Student Petition

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We, the students of Maharishi University of Management are presenting a petition to the school administration. This petition is in good faith and the reason is to expand MUM by attracting greater numbers of undergraduate students. The petition was created from survey responses by students for a marketing class. The survey consisted of 20 questions (10 open-ended and 10 close-ended). Twenty six surveys were received and analyzed. In addition to the surveys, we spoke with around 25 students regarding the current state of MUM. All responses were recorded, analyzed, and categorized. Approximately 50 students (1/4 of the undergraduate population) expressed their concerns, which is aligned with the key points listed below. The students believe there is tremendous potential for growth at MUM, however there are some key issues hindering this growth. Below you will find a summary of the eight major concerns of the student body. Thank you for taking the time to read the student's concerns.

  • Disillusionment – Initial response and reaction to MUM is very positive, however, over time, students begin to realize that the university is not what they expected it to be. We believe MUM's advertising strategy is at fault here. Many students don't know that MUM is affiliated with a Movement when they arrive on campus. Upon discovery, it turns a lot of people off because they don't understand the connection between the Movement and university.
    • Student response: (MC major) First impression of MUM – Awesome, this is everything I want it to be. Now I feel it's not allowing me to be who I am meant to be.
    • Student response: (Business major) I hope to achieve spiritual growth and friendships. I've given up on the academics (they're hopeless).
  • “All or Nothing” – Students have reported pressure to adopt all aspects of the Movement. For example, from Day 1 in STC, there is a massive amount of pressure for students to take the TM-Sidhi program, live in Sthapatya Veda houses, follow an ideal daily routine, etc. This has caused many to feel isolated from the Movement and creates a sense of superiority among those that adopt the entire approach. Students are looking for a college education, not to adopt an entire lifestyle. Allow the students to incorporate these aspects of the Movement at their own pace.
    • Student response: (MC) I know the benefits of the ideal routine, but I'm on my own evolutionary path and for me it is too much to adopt everything at once. After maintaining the routine and getting into a really good groove I felt amazing and feel un-amazing when straying from a structured routine, there is catchup work then...I don't feel supported in the changes that are taking place or that need to take place.
  • Representation – Many students reported feeling “out of the loop” because they did not feel properly represented. Students want more transparency out of the administration and they want to feel like they have a voice. Students are requesting more information about things such as the school budget, spending, and future plans.
    • Student response: (SL) Change entire infrastructure, put the right people in charge, ones with good intent and the student body will reflect that.
    • Student response: (Computer Science) Less censorship.
    • Student response: (Business) It's not enough to bring different people together if there isn't a sense of inclusion.
  • Scientific Evidence – During classes it was discovered that many subtopics under the MVS umbrella, such as Sthapatya Veda and Vedic Chanting, are being presented as facts while there is very little scientific research to validate it. We believe that there is truth to these aspects, but many people in this generation look for scientific validation before they accept a theory.
    • Student response: (I.S.) I can appreciate all aspects of MVS, however other students who are not at the same intellectual understanding of these aspects do not see the proof and benefits of living in Sthapatya Veda, listening to Pandits chanting, and learning to read and write sanskrit. We should push for more scientific research in these areas.
  • Open-Mindedness – Students agree that MUM needs to be more open-minded. Students are coming from different backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, traditions, and religions so it’s important to be sensitive to each individuals’ circumstances.
    • Student response: (Business) Hiring more progressive facility, people are way to conservative and afraid.
    • Student response: (MC) The teachings and the campus need to be more open-minded and accepting of differences. Unity in diversity is not met here.
    • Student response: (BFA & MC) Don't be so dogmatic.
  • Generation Gap – There is a clear gap between the older and younger generations of the Movement. The older generation of the movement has become stagnate and has failed to produce what the students demand. We simply want the best for MUM, but this generational gap has created a roadblock.
    • Student response: (MVS) The "cult like" vibe of the movement and university. Paradigm blindness of the older generation in the movement. Complete rigidity and devotion to the way things were taught in the 60's/70's that may not be the most effective way of running things anymore. Times change, collective consciousness changes. The technique is good (TM), but there's way to much of a "tribal" feel, ("we have it right, you don't..."). The devotion and worship of a wonderful man (Maharishi) has ironically caused stagnancy and lack of innovation.
    • Student response: Too many weird old people that seem so disconnected from the younger meditators.
  • “One Ring to Rule Them All” – MUM faculty and administration has adopted the “one ring to rule them all” mentality, meaning that the administration believes that the TM technique is the only solution. The administration has portrayed that TM is the “end-all and be-all” answer to the students problems. We don’t feel that this is the case because there are many ways to the same destination.
    • Student response: (MVS) The technique is good (TM), but there's way too much of a "tribal" feel, ("we have it right, you don't...").
  • Distinguish the Movement and University – When students choose a university, they are signing up for a college experience, not to be engrossed by a Movement. There seems to be a conflict between the management, the movement, and the university that's causing politics to interfere with academia. We believe that it’s vital for MUM to distinguish itself from the Movement, or at least make it clear what students are getting themselves into when they arrive on campus.
    • Student response: (Business) Empower the students, not just Maharishi.
    • Student response: (MVS) In my opinion MUM is mostly a training ground for the movement. It should be a training ground for life and a career.

Many students feel very strongly about these issues. We feel that if we can’t solve these problems then MUM won’t reach the full potential that Maharishi envisioned. As the students of MUM, we care deeply about the future of the university. We want to preserve the knowledge given to us by Maharishi and ensure that future generations have the same opportunities that we did. We highly advise that the faculty and administration at MUM consider this petition so we can begin to take steps forward.

Jai Guru Dev

Update: 5/14/2016

Survey Questions

  1. Gender?
  2. Your major?
  3. Do you live on-campus?
  4. How long have you been a student at MUM?
  5. Did you attend Visitors Weekend?
  6. What were your impressions of Visitors Weekend? (if you did not attend, leave blank)
  7. How did you hear about MUM?
  8. Why did you choose MUM over other universities?
  9. What was your first impression of MUM?
  10. How would your rate MUM in terms of the categories below? (1 being the worst, and 7 being the best)
    1. Tuition Rate
    2. Class Size
    3. Financial Aid
    4. Internship or Student Work Opportunities
    5. Curriculum
    6. Faculty
    7. Clubs
    8. Student Activities
    9. Health and Wellness Facilities
    10. Infrastructure
    11. Food
    12. Credentials
    13. Foreign Exchange/Travel Opportunities
    14. Campus Security
    15. Career Services
  11. Are you planning on getting a degree from MUM?
  12. What do you hope to achieve while at MUM?
  13. What do you like most about MUM? (Check all that apply)
    1. Location
    2. Org. Veg. Food
    3. TM
    4. Diverse Student Body
    5. Community
    6. Block System
    7. Professors
    8. Staff
    9. Sustainability
    10. Other (please specify)
  14. What do you dislike most about MUM? (Check all that apply)
    1. Location
    2. Org. Veg. Food
    3. TM
    4. Diverse Student Body
    5. Community
    6. Block System
    7. Professors
    8. Staff
    9. Sustainability
    10. Other (please specify)
  15. As a student at MUM, how would you rate your experience so far? (1 being the worst, and 7 being the best)
  16. If you're not satisfied with your experience, what could we do to make it a better one?
  17. How could MUM attract more undergraduate students?
  18. Advertising ideas for MUM?
  19. If you could create your ideal university, what would it be like? (schedule, classes, extracurricular, food, community, location, etc...)
  20. Any other comments, suggestions, ideas? We would love to hear it!

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