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Can TS learn from past mistakes?

Feb 07, 2012 04:13 PM
by MKR

Can TS learn from past mistakes?

I was surprised to learn that Olcott Campus has leased part of the HQ
building for a school. Running a school is not part of the mission of TS.
Recently we saw the issue of K School (which caters to the super rich kids)
located in Adyar campus in leased Damodar Gardens (leased for a pittance)
trying their level best not to leave the prime space occupied by the
school. It looks like they are going to keep trying to find a way not to
vacate the space. (Mind you the parents of students and alumni have
formidable money and influence in Chennai) With this background, I just
learnt that Olcott Campus is leasing a wing of the HQ for the School.

Here is the announcement:

âWhat they were looking for was a new location for the school. It turned
out that they needed to vacate their current premises by January 1 and
wanted to know if there was a possibility for them to do something on our
campus. The more they talked about their process and dreams the more it
became apparent to me that there was a potential fit that could be
extremely beneficial to all of us. A good deal of our building is
underutilized and my sense was that with a little thought on our part we
could find a way to make it work. Over the next couple of days we developed
a plan to lease them the west wing of our headquarters building. It has the
advantage of being a self contained space where the kids and teachers could
conduct classes without affecting the daily rhythms of our TS operations.
So, the bottom line is that as of January 9, 2012 the Prairie School began
a new life at our national headquarters.â

While this may bring in some money for the TS, several things are unclear.
Firstly, is it to cater to the needs of the poor kids from the under
privileged segment in Wheaton (like the Olcott Memorial School in Adyar) or
is it catering to the kids of fatcats? Is this the best use of the valuable
TS property for the furtherance of the mission of TS which is to spread

We also know how the membership continues to shrink with a blip here and
there, and is not increasing membership should be one of the important
goals of TS. Is it because of the disconnect that the elected officials
have with the lodges and centers around the country? It is the grass roots
activity in lodges that bring in new members and puts life into TS. In my
city, which is the seventh largest in the US, we have not seen any of the
elected officials for a long time and of course the last visit was before
the building owned by TS was sold and money deposited in TS accounts. No
one knows if this is result of some unwritten policy of the elected
officials not to concern about lodges unless the lodges have valuable money
or property.

The above should be of concern to any dues paying member of TS and
hopefully concerned members should take the time and call the elected
officials and convey their concerns. Olcott has a toll free number and the
call can be at TS cost.


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