Every student deserves a seat at the table

Despite providing students with resources to be “Worlds Ahead,” and having immense pride in the tagline, the University is #WorldsBehind when it comes to actively hearing and responding to the voices of students and the community.

Our editorial board isn’t the first to use this saying or hashtag; in fact, #WorldsBehind has been trending since the Miss Universe pageant was hosted on campus in 2015 — a bust for the University.

Again the hashtag was used to describe how students felt when plans were made public to construct on the nature preserve in the spring of 2016. At the time, the Beacon editorial board wondered if the university had the student body’s best interest at heart; despite students’ efforts, which included petitions and rallies, the overwhelming support to #SaveThePreserve were left unheard and unacknowledged.

“#WorldsBehind is a hashtag that students can use in order to express grievances with FIU’s policies,” said Dan Capote, Stonewall Pride Alliance President at FIU. “It’s based off of the motto FIU: World’s Ahead, and we hope to bring attention to how you can’t just make this promise and not follow through with policy.”

We believe that the University truly does offer programs geared towards being “Worlds Ahead.” With initiatives such as their Every Student Counts campaign, which helps students who are suffering through a crisis to attend school, or as one of our writers has mention, to be one of the most energy-efficient public schools in the state.

FIU also provides students different departments that help students prepare to enter the workforce from their Center of Excellence in Writing to helping students find and land internships and jobs through their Career Services.

But, we believe FIU will only be able to reach its full “Worlds Ahead” mantra if the administration takes the time to sit down, listen and attempt to understand students, or at least explain the necessities behind policies and decisions that students have protested.

“I want FIU to listen and respond to their students in a way that satisfies our concerns and needs. I want FIU to fulfill the promise that it sets for itself and actually be Worlds Ahead,” said Capote.

We agree with Capote, and feel that in order to fulfill the promise made to students, there must be effective communication — the two way channel of an exchange and understanding of ideas. Whether it’s through mass e-mail blasts, posters, flyers or announcements, the communication between the administration and the student body must improve.

This communication gap goes both ways: administration must actively reach out to the student body to inform them of what they’re planning and proposing with enough time for students to speak out and the student body, in turn, must respond in a timely manner so a discussion can actively occur.

We understand that it’s impossible to please everyone and that some decisions will have to be made whether we like them or not, but when these decisions will actively affect our campus experience, such as construction on the preserve, then every student on this campus deserves the right to have a seat at the table.

This is the only way that #WorldsBehind will no longer be a trending topic in our community and we can all become #WorldsAhead as a community, because that’s what we are.

 

Image retrieved from Flickr.

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