Student government elections are quickly approaching, and this year, the University of Miami students are asking some hard questions. Questions such as, “Student what?” and even, “Is this a senior prank?”
While widespread student apathy and lack of information promises yet another lackluster election, it seems only fair to question who is actually at fault for the current state of affairs.
Of course, no one party is entirely to blame, but there certainly are major faults on both sides. This concerns everyone because student government makes some very important decisions for the student body, even though virtually no one has any idea what those decisions are.
In this area, the blame seems to be cast most heavily on student government. Why don’t the students know what issues are being discussed? Why don’t we ever hear the decisions being made? Why do the students have so little input in the governing body that is supposedly representing their interests? The only answer is severely insufficient advertising.
Although student government does indeed make flyers, banners, etc., the average student never sees them. They are not numerous enough, nor are they placed in strategic locations. Currently, regular students must actively seek out the information, and even then, it is not always easy to find. Student government should be taking measures to ensure that issues and decisions are posted in forums where students can easily access them. Then, and only then, will students begin to care, because, after all, you can’t be interested in what you don’t know is going on.
At the same time, students must not be so complacent. If student government makes the necessary changes, the students must respond to them with increased activity. There must be a cultivation of interest in campus affairs. Indeed, it is not fair when student government’s most difficult task is to find a way to make students interested in on-campus activities without having to replace the Memorial Building with a hip new dance club that fosters a lucrative, underground party-drug scene.
Hopefully student government will take these words to heart after the election. While the blame is not entirely theirs, it seems that they certainly need to make the first move. And if they do make their proceedings perfectly accessible to the students and get no response, at least everyone will know where the real problem lies.