Ziel: It’s time to speak up for students

Renee Ziel

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Between going to a public university and being in the midst of a political climate like none we’ve seen before, there is no doubt that students have a lot to say.

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People love to complain, but they don’t love to be active about it. People talk enthusiastically about change but make no effort to put that in motion, instead relying on the hope that someone else will do it for them or, alternatively, resigning in defeat.

It’s understood that some people who belong to marginalized communities are simply unable to easily get involved due to discrimination, or they are informally and socially barred from having positions of power in a world that still holds them down.

However, some people simply don’t have an excuse. Moreover, many organizations on campus dedicate themselves to being inclusive.

There are ways students can be active at Colorado State University. According to RamLink, there are almost 500 student organizations registered at CSU. Arguably, two of the biggest are The Collegian, a news organization run by and for the students, and the Associated Students of CSU, the student government which allocates thousands of dollars of student fees. I am active in both.

It’s also worth mentioning that there is a rivalry between the two organizations, which is rather stark and frankly petty, in which members of both organizations have frequently and viciously attacked the other group. In particular, members of the ASCSU Senate do not work for the students but rather their personal agendas. One example is voting against inclusive resolutions and therefore excluding large groups of students and not upholding CSU’s Principles of Community.

When will we realize it is our duty, as both representatives and journalists, to serve the students?

We are students ourselves, and above all, we are a collective student body who should be focusing our efforts against an administration who refuses to hold racists accountable and the harmful political, economic and social issues that are facing our generation. This serves a larger “divide and conquer” mentality that is being set against us.

We are wasting our time by continuing a trivial, small-minded fight between two organizations whose purposes are to better this campus and the lives of those who attend this University. We are wasting our time complaining when there are far more important things to be done.

When will we realize it is our duty, as both representatives and journalists, to serve the students?

If a student has something to say, especially if it is for the better of the student body, it’s important that they actively seek out ways to make their opinions known. It is high time we form an engaged narrative on this campus to set a positive example for our inactive administration, other universities and our politicians.

Positions in ASCSU and The Collegian are available, and it is simply up to students to get involved and voice their opinion in a diligent manner. Even if they’re not an active member of either organization, there are avenues specific to these groups that can allow people to speak out as students or as members of our extended community. For instance, there are Letters to the Editor or gallery input during ASCSU senate sessions.

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While those who represent students, both peers and administrators, are being quiet on the issues that impact us most heavily, we need to stand up. If someone really cares about the issues that are facing us — and threatening our futures — they need to contribute to the solution or silently take a seat.

Renee Ziel can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @reneezwrites.