May 2, 2013
Students have been very vocal about the First-Year Experience Committee’s proposed housing changes and the surrounding debate. Many feel as though they were not included in the conversation about changes to Residential Life’s reorganization of first-years and upperclassmen. They seem to believe that this plan was totally spontaneous, and that the Administration should have done something more to let students know that it was in the works. What, exactly, that something more ought to have been, is unclear. Some students in attendance at Wednesday night’s Student Housing Forum called for increased discussion; others, for easier ways to express their opinions.
When something upsets us on the Hill, we’re quick to point fingers—both at the Administration and each other. People who feel that certain information was not clearly communicated to them . Those who are actively involved with student government and highly aware of what’s happening on campus argue that their peers haven’t been involved or outspoken enough. The fact is that students need to stop trying to pass the blame for the negative effects of their apathy or ignorance on to others. Detailed information about this housing plan has been released throughout the year in Student Assembly’s weekly minutes emails and in The Spectator’s Student Assembly Update. An article also appeared in the October 4 issue of The Spectator detailing the adjustments that the First-Year Experience Committee had proposed. Sure, the Administration could have taken even further measures to publicize their decisions, but it remains true that the information was available to everyone on campus, and could be accessed easily.
The time for pointing fingers has passed. We all need to accept that we share little fault in this supposed crisis—we should have watched our inbox a little more carefully, or made a more conscious effort to pay attention to what was going on. We should have spoken up about these changes when we first heard about them in October and made everyone aware of them. We should have worked for change before these proposals got this close to being put in place. Now is not the time for criticism and angry denials of responsibility, but the time for us to work towards a constructive solution that gives us the best options. And we need to remember occasions like this the next time the Administration proposes a change we are not comfortable with.