Quinnipiac student creates petition to fire President Olian

Hours later and President aims for more transparency

Brooke Reilly, Cali Kees, and MJ Baird

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






 

Nicole Giordano, a freshman at Quinnipiac, created a petition on change.org on Wednesday to fire current university President Judy Olian.

Olian was appointed as Quinnipiac’s ninth president in January 2018 and took office in July.

Screenshot of the change.org petition that Giordano started

 

After hearing news of the renovations planned for the university president’s property, Giordano felt that this money could be better allocated to fit the needs of students.

“The title of the petition, ‘Get the President of Quinnipiac, Judy Olian Fired,’ is very drastic… and I basically did that to capture attention right away,” Giordano said.

In the change.org description Giordano wrote, “[Olian’s] past job as dean for the Anderson School of Management at UCLA as a lavish and extravagant spender. An article from the Daily Bruin states “An $842.49 limousine ride in 2008 between Los Angeles and San Diego for Dean Judy Olian to attend a donor’s 80th birthday. The university spent $233.82 on a pair of engraved cufflinks as an “appreciation gift” to the donor.” ; “$12,083.60 in travel expenses for a weeklong trip by Olian with numerous stops in Asia and Washington, D.C. The reason listed for the expenses was “donor relations.”

Nicole is a first-generation college student and is always conscious about her own money and where it goes. With the amount of money students pay for their tuition at Quinnipiac, Giordano thinks that the university’s spending should better resonate, and align, with the needs of the student body.

“I come from a family [where] I’m the first person to go to college… It’s frustrating me to see where this money is going instead of benefitting us, the student body,” she said.

Only hours after posting the change.org petition, Giordano says she received an email from President Olian wanting to set up a meeting with her to answer any questions she had. 

Q30 News spoke to Giordano before her meeting, she said, “I never thought in a million years that at the end of the day…that I’d be contacted by Judy Olian, herself.”

Q30 News interview with Giordano before her meeting with President Olian

The meeting was held at 10 p.m. in the Carl Hansen student center and all of the Student Government Association was invited. President Judy Olian, vice president for public affairs Lynn Bushnell, vice president for facilities and capital planning Salvatore Filardi, vice president and chief of staff Bethany Zemba, dean of students Monique Drucker, associate vice president for public affairs John Morgan, assistant dean of student affairs Matt Kurz and director of live channels Jamie DeLoma were also all in attendance.

After the meeting, Q30 News spoke to Giordano again. She said that she now understood why the university is allocating money toward renovating the university president’s property.

“A lot of my questions were answered, and I feel very informed as to what’s going on,” Giordano said. “It was a lack of communication [at the beginning] and a lack of transparency.”

Members of SGA told Q30 News following the meeting, that President Olian would be holding an informal town hall discussion at 12 p.m. Thursday in the lower cafe.

The Student Government Association sent out an email to inform the Quinnipiac community about today’s informal town hall discussion.

“President Olian will be holding an informal town hall discussion today from 12-12:30pm in the Mt. Carmel Dining Hall in response to the confusion and frustration among some students regarding the recent news about Quinnipiac,” the email said.

Looking back, Giordano feels that a petition might have not been the best solution.

“I never really sat down and gave it thought,” she said.

But she feels although she is a freshmen her voice has a right to be heard.

“I feel like just because I’m a freshman I should not feel like that should limit what I can do here,” Giordano said. 

Q30 News interview with Giordano after her meeting with President Olian

She was content with how the meeting went overall.

“This is a good example to show that those who are administration are listening… they will respond,” Giordano said.

Later, Giordano ended the petition, which had 333 supporters and posted an update.

“I was brought into a meeting with President Judy Olian and the Student Government. My questions were taken openly and I was given answers,” Giordano wrote. “The house is just a small part of a huge plan to improve our university. Funding has been set aside to improve dining, residential life, and among other concerns. Thank you all for your support, I hope you all understand.”

A screenshot of the update Giordano posted on change.org