We at The Lawrentian do our best to foster the discussion of issues that arise in daily life at LU. Students are encouraged to write letters and responses, and to contribute to news and features stories as well. We feel that other student groups, such as Hall Councils and LUCC, do the same. Yet as much as there are some outlets by which students may lodge complaints or bring up issues, we feel that students’ voices often go unheard.Take for example the recent onslaught of words and thoughts, in our paper and on the streets, so to speak, regarding the Hiett drug incident. The campus was buzzing with strong opinions on the matter — many students wrote to The Lawrentian, including our own columnists, and students also tried to sign petitions to help the involved students out. However, the administration has not responded to the general student concern.
There has been, in fact, a non-response tactic practiced by the administration that shows a lack of concern for the opinions of the student body. There have been no emails to update us, even to tell us, “We can’t tell you any more.” Perhaps some of the opinions that The Lawrentian solicits and publishes show a misunderstanding of “the rules” or “the law” but nevertheless they are valid. We at The Lawrentian, with the support of much of the student body, we presume, would like to urge the administration to fill us in a little more, to help us understand, and to take into greater consideration our thoughts and our input.
Another strong example of this lack of communication arose several weeks ago with regards to a staff editorial about several possible effects of the new campus center. We had only one response to this editorial, in a blog published by Lynn Hagee, chair of the planning committee for the campus center. She indirectly informed us of an error, for which we thank her. However, we would never have known about this problem, never have been able to publish an important correction, without another Lawrentian staff member, also involved in the campus center, alerting us of what she wrote in her blog.
Perhaps the problem is the relative lack of a medium of communication between the administration and students. There is no response to the newspaper, despite the fact that we regularly publish student opinions, and no other direct interaction between students (non-LUCC at least) and the administration. The students who write to and for this newspaper believe in it as a way to get their voices heard, but as of yet, we have not heard back.
Furthermore, we as students believe in the administration as the body that is in charge of taking our school forward, in new and ever-better directions. We must be involved. The administration is the authority figure; yet to be a good authority figure, there must be a working relationship.
We do not know if our voices are simply not being heard, or if there is a method of being heard of which we are unaware. Whatever the case, we would appreciate, and would thrive from, any response by any administrative officials, negative or positive.