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Get involved to effect long-lasting change

Student government has always been kind of my thing. Throughout middle and high school, you could find me at the heart of any politically motivated extracurricular — I went to mock government conferences, I ran for executive board, after executive board and I ran my cat for president as a joke — to talk about the need for Federal Electon Commision reform and the value of youth efficacy in politics. My senior skip day was spent in my state capitol harassing senators over voter laws. It only made sense that, upon my arrival at Wooster, I would throw myself into government.

After spending a year as a class senator, I can say one thing for certain: there needs to be more participation in student government on campus. I love being a class senator. I love trekking to Lowry every week, I love going through parliamentary procedure, I love the exhausting effort that goes into things like the Board of Trustees meeting. It is a thankless job, but it is a necessary one. Every person I work with through the Student Government Association (SGA) has some passion pushing them to stay despite the less than thrilling aspects of scheduling airport shuttles.

But the same problem persists: not enough people are running for SGA or Campus Council. Elections end up having two candidates for five spots or positions go uncontested altogether. The Galpin Call-in proved that this campus is full of people who care deeply about the state of their campus. The College of Wooster is not an apathetic place. But the most long term way to ensure that your views, your desires and your goals are met is to get involved in the less sensational parts of campus activism.

Protests are great ways to get the attention of the administration, but we have to be proactive instead of reactive. We can’t just wait until another racially charged incident occurs on Beall. We can’t just wait until another faculty member gets away with being grossly insensitive. We can’t just wait.

By getting out and running for a position on the Student Government Association or Campus Council (or even just Allocations Committee), you can bring your expertise and your experience to the same administrators who worked through the recent Call-in. And building a relationship with these administrators means more open ears and fewer necessary protests later on.

As petitions to run for office open up over the next few weeks, don’t ignore the importance of these governing bodies in the operation of The College of Wooster. We are by no means the most powerful people on campus — we are still students ourselves — but we get to routinely speak to and work with those administrators, faculty and trustee members who do make the decisions here. While I cannot speak for Campus Council, I can say that SGA meetings are open to the public — every Wednesday at 8 p.m., in Lowry 119 — and we’d love to see some new faces. Whether your spirit lies in hiring more diverse professors, in raising the pay of hourly staff, in protecting sexual assault survivors or even making the food at Mom’s just a little healthier, your voice is a valuable asset that can be wielded to make tangible change. The first step is getting involved.

Emilee McCubbins, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at EMcCubbins20@wooster.edu.

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