October 17, 2018

Editorial: Bypassing the majority

Delegates’ Agenda has always been a platform for students to voice their concerns to administration. Not all students get this opportunity. So it troubled The Journal when university staff members advised students not to vote for their main concern, parking.

Parking is typically a popular subject at the setting of the Delegates’ Agenda. Yet it rarely makes it to the actual Delegates’ Agenda forum. Student Government Association surveyed students via email on what they felt were the most important issues on campus. Parking improvements were by far the number one issue, receiving 123 votes from students.

However, when student leaders gathered and tossed out potential Delegates’ Agenda topics, they were advised not to vote for parking. Staff at the officer’s summit advised students against voting for parking because administration is already aware of the problem. The Journal does not think this is a good enough reason to ignore this issue.

While its appearance on Delegates’ Agenda may not bring about action, it is important nonetheless. We think the administration should know the student body sees parking as a significant problem. Students see it as such a problem that they bring it up again, and again at the one forum that gives students a voice with the administration. A vote legitimizes a problem and would show the administration that the student body cares and will follow the actions taken.

The Webster Groves City Council recently gave Webster University permission to build an expansion on our current parking garage, under the stipulation that the university also pays for the construction of a left-turn lane. If students had the chance to actually urge the administration to tackle the problem of parking on campus, it would be now. By putting the issue on Delegates’ Agenda, students would have the chance to give their opinion on whether they think the university should build the lane, or look for other options.

At a university where approximately 97 percent of revenue comes from student tuition, administration should listen to students’ opinions. And Delegates’ Agenda is a wonderful platform to do so. In the future The Journal hopes such topics will not be dissuaded by staff members. Instead, it should be left to the students to decide. And when one considers that parking was the most voted on topic at the setting of the Delegates’ Agenda, its absence is even worse.

This sentiment is not just for parking either. The second most voted on topic, according to the student-wide survey, was Webster University’s wireless network. Another concern students frequently express. Yet it also failed to make it to the Delegates’ Agenda forum. Student leaders should represent the student body. Delegates’ Agenda should be used as a platform to address the concerns of the greater student body. Student leaders should not ignore the main concerns students express. And the advisers of Delegates’ Agenda should not encourage them to do so.

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