Staff Editorial: Participatory apathy

We, as Lawrentians, like to complain. It’s a common language, a topic of discourse that allows the occasional laugh. “The food at Bon Appétit today isn’t as good as it was in Welcome Week. How come Jill Beck was never around? I hate that there’s only one Big Event every three years. Snow sucks.” But when the university listens, we don’t react.

Upon taking office this year, President Burstein has attempted to both hear our complaints and experience our community by appearing at student events and popular hangouts, like the Viking Room, and Andrew Commons. Holding open office hours with one-on-one meetings is just one more step in increasing accessibility between the students and our President. This is an opportunity few college students ever have. However, most Lawrentians failed to take advantage of it.

This should have been expected. Lawrentians seem to never have “the time.” This lack of participation was made even more obvious in the recent elections on campus. This year, like several years before, the Lawrence University Community Council had two uncontested districts. District four had no candidate at all. But that’s old hat; it’s a staff editorial The Lawrentian has written a hundred times, a formula with dates to be changed. We get it.

The pattern should be obvious. It’s a problem every type of program on campus has encountered; and whether the cause is apathy, lack of time or a simple desire to participate in something else, the results are frequently disappointing. That’s fine, but recognize that if you don’t participate, you don’t get to complain. Take a few days off, enjoy an event and relieve some stress. If you want to talk about it, our President is always there.

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