Opinion: Students – you can make a difference

In my four years at FSU, I can’t keep track of the number of times I have heard students say how much they hate it at Framingham State.

Have you ever heard a fellow classmate say this? Or perhaps, have you said it yourself? I guarantee that you have.

My question to anyone who says this is – “Why?” Is it because the tuition is approximately $35,000 cheaper than that average Boston institution of higher education? Is it because the student teacher ration is 1:16? Is it because it is whopping 18 miles to get into the city of Boston? Is it because the cafeteria offers a variety of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meal options every day? Is it because the school offers free career services to assist you in the job search when graduation comes?

The list could go on and on.

Don’t get me wrong – every student is entitled to his or her own opinion, and is more than welcome to voice it at any time. However, if you really cared about the things that you dislike about the school, then make an effort to change them! Don’t just sit around moping and complaining about how the school doesn’t offer this, and doesn’t offer that.

And your first response to me encouraging you to make a difference is probably, “Well, the administration doesn’t care what we say, anyways. So, what’s the point?”

While I can’t guarantee to they all listen to students, there are indeed many faculty, staff and administrators who really do care, and they work hard to give you a chance to voice your opinions.

This is proven by the recent NEASC self-study document – in which a committee analyzed every aspect of the university – including its strengths, but I think more importantly, the areas that need some work.

This approximate 100-page document took three years to produce. The amount of work the committee put into creating this document is admirable. The best part about it is that the document strives to better the university in every way.

People may speculate about how effective this method is, but we are literally tested on it. A site team came to the university earlier this week to see if we are actually doing what we are saying we’re doing. So, really, there are faculty, staff and administrators who are trying to better the university, and they listen to students!

The site team held an open meeting on Tuesday and invited all students to come and voice their opinions and concerns regarding Framingham State. There were 13 students present. That is fewer than the number of students who are in each of my classes. The discussion was lively and energetic – however, out of an entire college campus, there were only 13 people who showed true interest in making a difference.

I get it – you’re busy. We all are. Although you may not have the time to squeeze in a meeting like the one on Tuesday, I encourage you to tell faculty, staff and administrators when you have an issue.

Students at the meeting Tuesday expressed their concerns about the lack of staff advisors for clubs and the lack of space for these clubs and various programs. At a meeting for the campus community on Wednesday, the NEASC committee told the audience of faculty, staff and administrators that their administration is lean. The committee also warned that the University should take into consideration that as the enrollment grows, the space for program must expand to accommodate this growth. They listened to students and relayed the concerns the next day.
However, it’s hard to listen to students when no one is talking. Please, take the time to say something and make a difference instead of gossiping in the dining hall about how much you hate this school. Acknowledge the flaws FSU may have and make strides to change it. You can make a difference.