October 19, 2018

Letter to the Editor: In response to “Bypassing the majority”

In your editorial piece in last week’s issue of The Journal, “Bypassing the Majority,” it was stated that it was incorrect for the student leaders who attended to ignore the main concerns of the greater student body. While the survey is a great way to see what students think are major issues on campus, the setting of the Delegates’ Agenda is where the topics are finalized. As a student leader who was in the room when voting took place, I disagree and do not appreciate being talked about in this way in my school’s paper. The reason I have for this is simple:

Every single student in our student body was invited to attend this meeting.

I was informed that more than 300 surveys were filled out, and yet there were only approximately 45 students in Sunnen Lounge voting for topics. The Facebook event created for the meeting stated that everyone was invited. In fact, no email or social media site said that this email was limited to student leaders. What was said, however, was that student leaders would be voting on what will be presented at the Delegates’ Agenda.

I don’t necessarily see a student leader as a person who just has what is deemed a student leadership role on campus. I view a student leader as a person who actively tries to improve their campus and community for the better. A perfect example of this is the setting of the Delegates’ Agenda. If a student or group wanted to see their preferred topic selected, they should have attended the first meeting, rather than after topics were selected.

When I went to the setting of the Delegates’ Agenda, almost everyone in the room was familiar. Everyone in that room was a student who has taken some initiative, and decided to make a difference at their school — whether it’s  at Delegates’ Agenda, SGA or another organization on campus. It seems like you always see the same students at campus events, in leadership roles and at meetings such as this one. I only saw a couple unfamiliar faces in that room, and I wish that number were larger.

As for parking: yes, no one who attended the meeting voted for parking. Yes, students in the room were advised not to vote for parking. Yes, we are currently approved for a parking garage pending a turn lane on Edgar. And yes, this is a reason to NOT vote for parking.

Everyone complains about parking on campus. There is no way our administration isn’t aware of this. However, a previous Delegates’ Agenda presentation stated there is actually adequate parking on campus. As a commuter, I have yet to not find a spot, whether it’s 7:30 in the morning or at 11. I would not think anything of parking on the 4th floor of the parking garage, if it were not for people saying they don’t want to walk that far, or editorials such as the one I am currently responding to.

Previous Delegates’ Agenda meetings have made it clear that students see parking as an issue, and the administration has obviously acknowledged that. Voting for parking again when we are this close to receiving a parking garage would not help the situation. Ultimately, students will not have a say in whether the school pays for that turn lane. And if that were the only remaining holdup to double the size of our parking garage, then why else would we vote for it?

But hey, that’s just my take on it. I know others would have liked to see topics that were not chosen presented. But as I stated before, a student leader is not a student who has one particular role, or job on campus. A student leader is a student who uses their opportunity to make a difference. And only 45 students decided to take that opportunity and come to that meeting. I would like to see more students take such a stance and work to leave their mark on this campus, rather than use the school newspaper to complain about choices students made that they could have affected.

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