The June 17 editorial (“USM spending cuts are just a Band-Aid for bigger issue”), conveyed a reasonable view of the situation, but made one huge error.

The editorial suggested that students don’t want the Legislature to get involved. I can’t speak for the faculty or the administration, but as a recent graduate of USM and informal leader of the student actions, I can say that we do indeed want the Legislature to get involved.

In fact, one of our first actions when the layoffs were announced was teaming up with Rep. Ben Chipman to submit an emergency session bill. Unfortunately, the bill was voted down – likely because the Legislature is too reluctant to prod the politically and financially powerful board of trustees.

I think, and many of my fellow students agree, that the Legislature should be taking more responsibility over the University of Maine System. The UMS was established by the Legislature, and so legislators should be acting as its stewards – especially when those appointed to manage it are doing a poor job.

For too long, the UMS has been a bastion of nepotism and cronyism to benefit those appointed to the board of trustees and their constituencies. It’s time that we the people of Maine demand that our legislators get involved. Make it an election issue this November.