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Opinion

Student input necessary for University success

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December 4, 2008

It is common knowledge that many students have qualms with the way in which the University operates.

Many disagree with certain regulations, expenditures, and decisions passed, and believe that the University has been ignoring or avoiding students’ opinions on decisive matters.

All too often decisions that affect students here are made without their consent, their input and sometimes without even their knowledge.

Some matters that would have a significant impact on student life are open to student input in forums and meetings, but these are often announced (if at all) in close proximity to their scheduled date and are grossly under-advertised.

In asking around, I have found students who are unaware of where they would go to speak for or against decisions in which they have a voice.

The University has a responsibility to not only inform students of potential policy and budgetary decisions and allow them an appropriate opportunity in which to protest or advocate for it. If more students were aware of what exactly their money is being spend on, they might be more likely to raise issue.

Students may wonder where the money for the new University plants came from, what is happening with Rodli Commons or what new policy changes may be coming their way.

In light of this, students who are not yet aware may be interested to learn of just such a change that may soon be implemented. Chapters 17 and 18 of the University of Wisconsin System Administrative Code, currently a highly contested item among many UWRF students, would subject a student to University prosecution should they violate state and federal laws both on and off campus property.

Essentially, the University may punish you for laws you break that are not University-related. The guidelines for whether or not the offense you commit is considered serious or valid enough to require punishment by the University are hazy at best and leave the door open to a large number of possible offenses that could incur academic penalty.

Part of this hotly contested document effectively removes a student’s right to have a lawyer present to speak on their behalf. There are many other clauses and sections within the proposition that are equally ludicrous.

If the thought on the potential enactment of such a regulation upsets you, and you wish to fight against it, many students and select student organizations feels the same way. I encourage you to get involved and inform the appropriate people of your opinions and thoughts.

One group currently taking action to prevent this proposition from being passed is the Union of Democratic Progressives, which meets Thursday nights in the Cooklock room of the Davee Library.

Please feel free to drop in and see how you can get involved in fighting this and other injustices!

Katie Heimer is double majoring in international studies and history, with a German minor.