Student Apathy No Longer Norm on USF Campus

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In recent weeks the Foghorn has taken notice of the growing passion within the USF community, among students in particular,  that has taken shape through protests, letters to the Foghorn editors, voting, discussions and strong attendance at campus events.

During this week’s ASUSF Senate Elections, the voting table in the UC building was constantly lined with students. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Electoral Governing Board reported that they had already surpassed last year’s voter turnout of 10.4 percent of students. We are eager to receive the voter turnout results this year, as we are optimistic that this year will rank as one of the highest voter turnouts we have seen for ASUSF elections in recent memory.

The dialogue between the Foghorn and ASUSF Senate over the budgets of funded accounts on campus caught the interest of many and sparked heated debate around campus, and through comments on our Web site.
We hope to see student involvement in senate proceedings and actions not peak this year, but continue in the upcoming semesters and years.

Though strong voter turnout is encouraging, USF student politics is not the only thing that has sparked action from the student body.

Each of last week’s sexual assault awareness events was well attended, helped by ASUSF Senator Alia Al-Sharif’s letter to the students in the Foghorn giving information about the events.  We encourage senate to continue to use the Foghorn as a means to keep students in the know about special events on campus.
Ideally, more students would seek the information online or go to senate meetings, but that is not happening.
During last week’s Street Talk segment, for example, many students struggled to even name their ASUSF Senate President (Alex Platt), and nobody who was interviewed knew where the senate meetings take place.

We believe this is less of a reflection on President Platt and the rest of the senate and more of a reflection on students unwillingness to seek information, which is understandable considering the chaotic schedule of the average USF student. However, we encourage ASUSF Senate to use the Foghorn more frequently to address the student body.

The recent student protest concerning the status of Adjunct Professor Andrej Grubacic is a clear sign that students want to be involved in more than just classes at USF.

The mere rumor of some overly positive or overly negative student evaluations being discarded, though false, sparked outrage and anger in many students who demanded to know why.

Students are asking for a way into the decision making process on campus, and we encourage the administration to embrace this enthusiasm rather than quell it.

Regardless of the ultimate decision made on Professor Grubacic’s future at USF, these students have built the foundation for a future, stronger student movements, an accomplishment that we acknowledge and commend.

Faculty members have joined in this most recent USF community conversation, voicing their opinion through letters to the editor and personal letters to the Foghorn on issues ranging from university finances to the possibility of selling items to cover other campus costs (see “Rare Books,” page one).
We encourage all of these practices to continue into next year and not die down with the end of the semester.

Students can continue to debate USF issues over the summer through the Foghorn community page online.
There are many important and difficult decisions to be made concerning the future of the USF community and everyone must contribute if the right decisions are to be made.

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