A need for stronger student advocacy

Though the academic year is barely two weeks old, Student Council has already shown its face as an active force on campus. With cookouts and food trucks, they have delivered on their mission to serve and represent the student body. Their recent active presence serves as a reminder of what Student Council can and should be, and how it can be a boon to all students.

Student activism is in no short supply on campus, but it is often disparate and diffused. There are numerous groups that deal primarily with campus issues, all of them with a stake in communicating and working with the administration, yet no strong mechanism for the student body to speak with one voice is in use.

Student Council could be this mechanism. They have the credibility and authority to speak for the student body, but only if we treat the organization as such.

Too often students are apathetic about Student Council elections.Reduceing the power of Student Council to act, which causes students to lose faith in Student Council. It’s a vicious cycle, one that reduces our collective power with the administration.

This is not to say that there should never be disparate and conflicting voices from the student body, that we should all think as one. We fully support the many student advocacy groups that exist. We merely suggest that in addition, Student Council could serve as a valuable means of advocating on behalf of all students, on issues that pertain to us all.

If elections were taken more seriously, if we then expected Student Council to do more, to be our advocates, Student Council would be stronger, and the student body better represented.

Rather than resigning ourselves to the idea that Student Council does not have the power to negotiate seriously with the administration, we should expect them to do so, be critical of their failures, and supportive of their successes. In short, we should expect more of Student Council, so that they have the power to do more.

On any number of issues, a more engaged student body would further the interests of the student body as a whole. We should pressure Student Council to represent us, to advocate for student interests. Though much criticism has been raised against the administration, more could be done to create a united front to represent student interests.

Student Council exists as a representative body to support student interests. They seem ready to act. We as students should now do our part and give them our support so that they can be taken seriously as our representatives.