Three topics dominate small talk at UR: the weather, how boring Rochester is and the vast failures of the administration at UR. Campus Times knows this, and we address the latter two topics in every issue – we used to cover the weather, but we decided it was too depressing.
The staff’s goal is to keep UR informed, and you should take advantage of this newspaper so that you can make a difference on campus.
Too often I hear students complaining about an issue on campus that they know little or nothing about, offering up what seem like obvious solutions. The unfair meal plan, the lack of parking, unreliable buses – the River Campus obviously has problems, and it is easy to assume that no one is doing anything to fix them. However, changes are made – and they are often initiated by students who are well-informed and who are willing to work constructively with the administration.
Club Meals are inefficient, so why doesn’t Dining Services institute an all-Declining plan? This simple answer has one major hole: Dining is not an ordinary business in that it must remain open for extended hours; the losses are offset by higher food prices and Club Meal profits, making an all-Declining plan unfeasible. The new meal plan is flawed, as evidenced by student reaction, but a student petition coupled with Students’ Association backlash has convinced Dining Services to reconsider the plan next year.
Think the bus system is unreliable? In response to student complaints, UR Facilities has done a great job improving service and has added a GPS system that tracks buses; also, the SA Mitigations Committee helped introduce a 19th Ward route this semester. In both cases, informed students offered suggestions and advice that translated into successful initiatives.
Students can act unilaterally, as well. When Campus Activities Board announced in February that it would not sponsor Dandelion Day, students took charge. Now the hallowed tradition will continue for at least another year, and thanks to students from the SA who cared enough to organize it, as well as sober volunteers from Medical Emergency Reponse Team, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and Sigma Beta Rho Fraternity, Inc., the day will take place in a safer form that addresses many of CAB’s legitimate concerns.
This is not to say that everyone is doing the best job that they can. We must remain critical and skeptical of every decision that the administration and the student government makes. Campus Times editorials are quick to point out inadequacies and mistakes – but we also try to offer solutions, and aim to avoid sensationalizing or reflexively jumping to outrageous conclusions.
The Campus Times is an invaluable resource, often the only resource, to get the scoop on the biggest UR issues. I strongly encourage you to read the paper and to use the information and perspective that we offer to affect change, or at least become an expert on something other than the weather.
Wrobel is a member ofthe class of 2010.