Originally published March 30, 2014
It’s almost time, Lakers! It’s almost time for the school year to be done and the summer to begin. This means different things to every student — studying abroad, internships, jobs, relaxation, vacationing. Take your pick. But the quickly approaching summer also means the same thing to every student: a rush to complete things before the school year ends.
While what first comes to mind for many students may be to finish the next assignment or prepare for exams, this is not what we at the Lanthorn are referring to. Interest piqued yet?
What we mean by “unfinished business” is much more important than classes; it relates to student life, community development and important issues that the student body values. We are proposing that students think about that one issue they wanted to see addressed — that one topic that was never quite settled or may not have ever been brought up — and push to make it so before the school year ends. Rather than let your vision for GVSU be unrealized, just go realize it. That simple.
Especially if you are a student who is preparing to graduate at the end of the semester, with only a few weeks remaining now, take the advice you hear from so many professors and speakers at events and don’t leave college with any regrets. What if the one idea that you wanted to make happen or that one injustice that should have been discussed could have changed how Lakers interact with each other for decades? What if that one idea you kept bottled up could have made GVSU better for everyone in the community?
We’ve received a number of letters to the editor and we’ve documented complaints of many students, clubs, faculty and staff. We know that there are matters fostering dissatisfaction, that these matters have been brought to the attention of the administrators and community, and that little has been done to address them. Here are a few examples that we can recall:
The Bias Incident Protocol. If you’re concerned that the vague language could incriminate anyone exercising First Amendment rights, and you’re dissatisfied that verbal appeals to authority have not encouraged change, take your request one step further. Protest. Maybe, if you find it absurd that any act causing “alarm, anger, fear or resentment” can be considered “bias,” start filing an incident form for each and every little instance that incites those sentiments in you to testify to the absurdity.
If you’re frustrated with the required hours you have to spend in the Language Resource Center, do something about it. Protest.
If you — like the United Students Against Sweatshops organization — are disturbed by the treatment of the workers who assemble yourGVSU attire, pull out your picket signs, join USAS and protest.
Organize a rally. Petition. Do some act of civil disobedience.
If you’re too afraid to organize an event or take a stand, then do one simple task: contact a student senator or University Academic Senate member and tell them your ideas. This way, your views can be passed on and be addressed by people with the power to make change.
It’s not too late to make a difference and leave your mark on campus before the year ends. Take action.
Original publication: http://www.lanthorn.com/article/2014/03/1353-oped-editorial