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Student involvement: vital to building a better Brockport

by The Stylus
Tue, Apr 23rd 2019 10:20 pm
use your voice  Some students question decisions being made here at The College at Brockport. However, a lot of students choose to not get involved when student input is asked for by the college.  As students, we need to make our voices heard through all platforms available.
use your voice Some students question decisions being made here at The College at Brockport. However, a lot of students choose to not get involved when student input is asked for by the college. As students, we need to make our voices heard through all platforms available.

For many of us, The College at Brockport is our home for four years. We eat, sleep and breathe here, so one would think students would want to be active participants in the campus community. However, this is not always necessarily the case.

On April 8, 2019, the college sent out two separate surveys for students to respond to. Over the course of the next few years, Holmes Hall and Tuttle Athletic Complex will be renovated, and the college wanted our input. 

The college and Brockport Auxiliary Service Corporation (BASC) often send out different types of surveys throughout the academic year with topics ranging from the prevalence of sexual assault on campus to the type of food we would like to see in the dining halls. 

Many of these surveys include incentives, such as a free gift card to the bookstore or dining dollars for the dining halls, but even these do not seem to get more students to offer their input.

According to Vice President for University Relations David Mihalyov, surveys sent through the college often see between 15 to 35 percent of students respond, with the latter being considered good. On average, BASC has seen 14.2 percent of respondents answer their surveys over the last five years. 

For the 2019 Brockport Student Government (BSG) elections, only 645 people voted, as opposed to the 2017 elections where 1,166 people voted. Still, this number is not even close to representing all of the student body.

There are over 7,000 undergraduate students at the college, yet these students do not use their voices when given the chance to do so. We at The Stylus believe students should take an active role in our campus community.

Of course, the college does not always ask for our input when making decisions about the campus. However, we must work with the decisions and seize the opportunity to create a better Brockport for everyone.

There are many reasons why Brockport students may not get involved with campus clubs or events.

The most obvious would be that students genuinely do not know what is happening on campus and since Brockport has roughly 60 percent of it’s students either commuting or living off-campus, it would make sense that communication can be lacking. Commuters often feel left out of the “normal” college experience because much of the advertising for events happen on cork boards sprawled throughout campus.

Another reason could be that students do not feel their voice or vote matters. We are given these surveys and asked for our input, but how much of it is actually taken into consideration? On the other hand, we at The Stylus would like to remind students that not taking the time to give input will keep one in the same spot they were originally. 

Real change cannot happen without activism on our part. We would also like to remind faculty and staff that our opinions should be taken into account when decisions are made that could affect our quality of college life. 

Some students are weary about clicking on any outside links due to the phishing scams that have been invading student emails. Surveys are deleted because students fear they will be hacked again.

So how can this change? Ways that students can get involved are innumerable. Students can be more involved simply by attending the interesting lectures that are put on by the college. In a recent editorial, we urged students to attend Scholar’s Day, not because you get extra credit but because it is important to support your peers. 

The Diversity Conference also sees a lack of attendance, with many professors forcing students to attend for a paper in order for the lectures to have some kind of audience. Freshmen students typically attend the Diversity Conference as a requirement for their Academic Planning Seminar course.

 This is a day that offers us a unique perspective on different topics, and it is important that we experience a few of the lectures throughout the day.

Guest speakers are an integral part of the college experience, as they allow us to learn and develop our own opinions about the issues at hand. The college offers a plethora of speakers throughout the school year, such as on the aforementioned Diversity Conference, during the Writer’s Forum and through events put on by various clubs.

ECHO petitions, which allow opinions to be voiced anonymously, are another way for students to get involved.

Let us remind you that our student activity fee also brings many of BSG’s events to us. In reality, we are actually wasting money by not attending events put on specifically for us. 

We at The Stylus urge students to become more involved in our campus community, whether it be through BSG, clubs, club or intramural sports or simply by attending guest speakers’ seminars and events held on campus for us. This is our home for four years, and we should all make the most of it.

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