Student Union President Nyah Macklin ’16 has emphasized the importance of increasing transparency among students, the Student Union and the administration. She believes it is the Union’s job to keep students informed of the inner workings of the university so that students are not “left in the dark,” a complaint that the student body has rightfully made numerous times over the past few years.
We support Macklin’s resolution. We at The Brandeis Hoot believe it is essential for students to feel included in decision making processes that very much concern them.
Macklin has undertaken several initiatives to improve transparency so far this year, and we commend her for this. Last week, Macklin appeared on the first edition of the WBRS program The Student Union Update Show where she answered questions about campus issues and her plans for the year. The Union will also soon unveil a new website featuring information on the Union’s activity and progress on initiatives.
We appreciate Macklin’s efforts in both these arenas; however, we wonder, how many people will tune into Macklin’s radio show? How often will students check the website?
Another issue we find troubling is lack of student attendance at the Union’s weekly Senate meetings. These meetings are open to the public; however, typically there are few or no outside attendees. At these meetings, the Senate members vote on chartering clubs, discuss dining initiatives, hear updates on committee reports and propose changes to their policies.
Macklin can try as hard as she wants to introduce new avenues for students to learn about the university’s activity, but students have to take advantage of these opportunities, new and old. Senate meetings are a great way for students to become familiar with the way their government works, to understand why some clubs are chartered and others are not and to get to know they elected officers.
The Hoot does not wish to criticize students, but rather encourage. We want students to want to attend Senate meetings at 7 p.m. in the SCC, as well as the State of the Union address with interim President Lisa Lynch this Saturday at 9:30 a.m. To complain about a lack of resources without taking full advantage of those that are provided is hypocritical at best. Though we recognize that is it is almost antagonizing of administration to schedule the address so early in the morning on the weekend, taking advantage of this opportunity to hear President Lynch speak is important.
There are many changes to campus life that the Brandeis student body needs administration and the Student Union to take charge of. However, when these community members come through for us, as students we need to ensure the effort wasn’t in vain.