By Curtis Edmonds, Editor-in-Chief
Tonight, DCGA will be making critical decisions about what our campus community will look like as soon as next year. About the kinds of opportunities that will be available for students to take advantage of. DCGA will be voting on five proposals to spend a whopping $500,000 on – updating and creating social spaces around campus, an endowment for externships travel expenses, and a social space for La Fuerza Latina, Denison’s premiere Hispanic culture group on campus – to name a few.
We need to be active participants in deciding where this money goes. While all 2,100 students won’t be able to cast a vote for which proposals pass or how much money is spent tomorrow night, this is a decision that will affect all of us. Our community comes together when we feel like it. We come together in times of tragedy (death of a community member) or times of celebration (inauguration of our new president). But we need to learn to come together in times where it is not always convenient.
We’re reaching the point in the semester where the weather is getting warmer but our classes are also getting harder. That means that sitting through a multi-hour DCGA meeting in the basement of Burton Morgan isn’t exactly the most appealing thing for a lot of us. But holding our elected representatives accountable and taking advantage of the opportunity to voice our opinions on our money should be something we place near the top of our priorities.
On the hill, I’m used to seeing a fair amount of apathy from my classmates. That’s not to say that people never feel passionate about anything, it’s to say that we are selective about what we choose to show our passion about. I know that many people have strong feelings about DCGA, about the reserve fund from which this money is coming from, and about how they envision our campus. But many of these people have never shown up at a DCGA meeting, and more disappointingly, many of these people have never even voted for their DCGA representative.
One group that has shown dedication throughout this long funding process has been La Fuerza Latina. The group has been to nearly every DCGA general meeting and meetings of the Finance Committee. They have taken real ownership in this process to get their own space, and are an example of what can happen when we come together and voice our concerns and hopes to our student government about what we want and what we need.
I also think this is a good space for me – as someone who is a former senator who wasn’t always happy with how DCGA worked — to really say how proud I am of our student government. The reserve fund has been a concern for years — how could we have possibly let hundreds of thousands of dollars pile up from student activity fees? And to see real action from DCGA has been nothing short of inspiring.
Mirroring national politics, there is often a gulf between what the people want and what our representatives think we want. And many times, the gulf is naturally occurring, which is what we can come to expect when there are probably no senators who know everyone they are representing. But we can fill that gulf by being more politically active and taking ownership of our campus. We can’t just be participants in DCGA when budget season for our organizations come around.