As Clubs Week wrapped up, hundreds of students happily joined a new society or club, and I was reminded that we students do want to be involved and are enthusiastic about joining clubs and meeting new people. There’s something really exciting about Clubs Week: it’s an opportunity to become a member of a group, find a new (and social) hobby, or just soak in the information and atmosphere. It’s great to have people to be with and places to hang out between class. For me, that’s The Medium’s office, where I hang out with my editors during the week and every Sunday as we put together the paper. This week, the opinion page has a common theme: be engaged.
This week, I received three letters: one from Amir Ahmed, the Features Editor here at The Medium, one from Vickita Bhatt, president of UTMSU, and one from Peter Buczkowksi, a UTMSU director. Mr. Ahmed asked for your thoughts on our paper—what you like about The Medium and what we can change so that you’ll want to pick it up and read it. When he personally handed out copies of The Medium to students waiting in line for the U-Pass, and he was surprised to find that some people weren’t even interested. Maybe they thought he was pushing an agenda or trying to annoy them, but he was actually just trying to give people something to read while they wait—a paper made by students for students.
Then there are students like Mr. Buczkowski, who writes me a letter every week because he cares about what happens on campus, and even asks you for suggestions, faithfully listing his e-mail address each week. How many people actually bother to write in? But we all do have things we want improved, we all do have things we’re grateful for. Each year thousands of students line up and get their U-Pass—which the student union lobbied for and won, at the request of students. Is sending them a line or two now and then that much harder?
What’s stopping you? Maybe you feel that nothing will change, or that nothing bad has happened lately, so “if it ain’t broke…”? Maybe the student politics scene turns you off, or maybe you don’t think the student union actually can change or improve your university career.
On the other hand, Ms. Bhatt says the student union will listen. Both she and Mr. Buczkowski invite you to the Commission meeting this Thursday, where you can share your input directly with the student union.
It’s the responsibility of The Medium to keep you informed, but also to keep you engaged. We’d like every student to be in the loop and know how to take part. For example, you could get your opinion heard by writing for us like Mr. Ahmed; you could help keep the union in check like Mr. Buczkowski; or you could run for office like Ms. Bhatt—but I’d be happy if you just picked up the paper again next week.