Presidential perspectives: A fresh look at a new year

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

?You don?t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.?
?Shirley Chisholm

This quotation is very applicable to our campus, especially in the coming year. There are a number of changes taking place on campus, with more issues that we need to look into and start tackling this year. There are always specific concerns that we will continue to face on this campus: dining, diversity, communication, and performance space, to name a few. There are also issues that directly affect smaller groups of students, of which many on campus might not be aware. As hard as student government may work, there never seems to be enough time to solve every problem that may arise; however, if we, as one community, focus our attention to what needs to be done on campus, the student body as a whole will be a lot more effective in making changes.
Student government strives to work harder in understanding the needs of the students, as well as communicating those needs to the decision-making bodies on campus. We encourage you, the student body, to bring your issues and your concerns forward, as there is no way your concerns can make it to Student Government discussion otherwise.
No effective student administration can make changes without the support of the student body. This year, I would like to see students take a vested interest in our campus. Do not simply file complaints and wait for changes to occur; instead, figure out where you and your talents can be helpful, then focus your energy there. We need to know what changes must be made; but, more importantly, we need more people to become involved for those changes to happen. Everyone has a necessary role on this campus: Some people are great organizers, some are great motivators, some are great supporters, and others have great networking skills. Regardless of what your role may be, we need everyone to realize that they are important and useful to the student body. This is the only way we can get things done.
This year, Tom and I are making a special request to the members of this campus: Get involved. Getting involved doesn?t require joining ten clubs and spending all of your free time in meetings. What we need are individuals who will not simply complain about a problem, but will take the next steps in remedying it. Communicate your concerns to people who can help make a change, see where you can help in solving the problem, and stay focused until something happens. Tom and I know that we can?t make a difference on this campus alone. There is so much potential here at CMU that we know great things can happen under our leadership. The greatest resource this campus has is its students, so we need to harness that energy as best we can.
On our end, there are a few initiatives that Tom and I would like to start over the next few months. There are a few committees which we would like to form on the issues of diversity and communication. For example, I am in the process of bringing back the defunct Multicultural Council, which would allow various organizations to network and collaborate in an effort to make those groups more of an asset to the community. We would also like to develop a communications task force by late September with the objective of looking at the communication concerns on campus (advertising student organization events, etc.) and determining a better way to look at untapped communication resources for students. Both of these committees respond to the issues we?ve heard from student organizations regarding event attendance and event planning. If you are interested in taking part on any level, please be sure to contact us.
Before I close, I would like to welcome everyone back! I hope you all had a great summer. While we get back into gear with classes and get reaccustomed to the daily grind, I hope everyone remembers just how much we can get accomplished this year. Always feel free to contact Tom or me with any questions, comments, or concerns; we?re counting on it.

?Be careful what you set your heart upon ? for it will surely be yours.?
?James Baldwin