This week, the University Park Undergraduate Association held an extended open student forum to give students a chance to voice their opinions regarding upcoming legislation in Harrisburg that could raise fines for alcohol-related crimes in State College.
These types of forums for students to stand up and have their voice heard are important. But they are only useful if they are utilized by the community.
When students don’t attend these events or attend them and don’t speak, it’s neither beneficial for those holding the meeting, nor the students who are there for the discussion.
Penn State students need to start being more proactive in aspects relating to the university. This is your school. This is your voice.
If fines are being raised in State College for alcohol-related crimes, this has the potential to impact many students. This is not something to be taken lightly.
It’s never easy to stand up and say your opinion, exposing yourself to critique. But, going to a meeting, such as this alcohol-related forum, and not saying anything is a waste of time. If you somehow get yourself into a situation dealing with this, you will be the one paying larger fines, which most people probably don’t have money for.
Regardless, it’s not just an event dealing with alcohol students should be attending. All of these open forums are ways for the student body to connect with people who are making decisions in their name.
These are some of the most important types of meetings we can attend.
Yes, our club meetings are a big part of our lives, but it is these forums that allow for discussion about topics such as alcohol, transparency and opinions on the university as a whole, that ultimately mean the most. If we remain uninterested in our university, that does no good for anyone.
We are the voice of Penn State and because of this we have a responsibility to be actively involved in every aspect that effects our lives.
It is the current student body that helps shape the atmosphere for the future students. Being proactive is chief in determining where our university is going to go. You may have no opinion on alcohol-related fines raising — though that doesn’t seem likely — you should be scouting out the topics and issues that do relate to you. That is the crux of our university and, without the belief that the student voice does matter, we will get nothing accomplished.
The meetings may not be the most convenient time or you may feel overly exhausted that day, but that is absolutely no excuse.
If we continue to say that the actions of others don’t define our university, then we actually need to back it up.
The actions of other’s don’t define our university, we do.
So use the power wisely.