As I sat in on the Undergraduate Student Senate?s Executive Committee meeting, I began to think about the major problems that face any representative government. And rather than do my usual weekly update, I felt it was important to share my thoughts with you, the student body: The biggest problem the Senate and I confront is the lack of input from the community we serve. While we understand that some of the responsibility falls on our shoulders, we need feedback from the campus community about the steps we take so we, the Senate, can most adequately serve you.
There is no denying that our university is far from perfect. And people around campus voice this loud and often; however, complaining is the least productive means of action. If any representative government is forced to learn of, and deal with, problems in an indirect fashion, necessary time to address a given problem is lost in the ?search and discover? process. The changes we want to see on campus simply cannot get done in a timely manner if we do not know what the students want these changes to be.
Nicolette and I are only two people, and therefore we always need students to help us propel forward our initiatives. Of the students who approach us about sitting on committees, we aim to create a diverse group, reflective of myriad opinions, ensuring that all ideas and options are examined when problem-solving. We always want the thoughts of people other than members of the Student Senate or Graduate Student Assembly.
As your President and Vice-President, we encourage you to be in contact with us. We are here to serve you, and can only do our best when we know what is most important to you. Nicolette has written that ?a dilemma is defined as a situation which only has bad problems. A problem is a situation which has solutions, some good and some bad. The sign of a true leader is the ability to turn dilemmas into problems. But no leader can be effective without meaningful input.? We cannot have your input without communication.
Problems that go unaddressed can grow out of hand. This is our university and our responsibility to make it what we want it to be. The student government is the best avenue to bring about change, so use it to your advantage. Enhance your college experience by being proactive in creating a positive environment.