Representation at a “Student-Focused” University

opinion

An extremely important factor in the success of a university is to make the students feel well represented. After all, they are the reason the university is running in the first place. NDSU is one of those universities.

A university that takes pride in the acceptance and understanding of its students. A university that listens and makes changes. A university that is inclusive and accommodating. At least that is what the administration believes.

North Dakota State prides itself on being a “student-focused, land-grant, research university.” But here we are defunding the student affairs department, making change without truly listening and only ever in the news when our football teams win yet another ring.

Are students well represented? Are we heard? Is it made easy for us to voice our opinions and concerns? I mean sure if you dedicate all of your time to being on campus and reading up on campus news, these tasks become easier. But what about the students who have to work full time along with being a full-time student?

“I honestly feel invisible,” sophomore Mattie Olson said when discussing student representation. “I feel as though the only people who are accommodated are those who spend all of their time in campus activities or those who are athletes.”

And it’s true, how often is NDSU heard of unless it is for athletics? Hell, the average explanation that myself and many students give when asked where they go to school is “NDSU, you know, football.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love NDSU. I would have transferred three years ago if I didn’t love it here. But the simple fact is that we, the average students, have become accustomed to the fact that we are underrepresented. That shouldn’t be the case.

“I feel like after four years of going to school here it shouldn’t take an entire process in order for us to get innovative ideas across to the administrators,” an NDSU senior who wished to stay anonymous said. “We can always start the process with student (government) and they say they will bring it to administrators, but then months pass by and you haven’t heard a peep about it other than a short email that says something along the lines of we have passed along your ideas.”

The average student doesn’t feel a solid representation on campus and, quite honestly, that is embarrassing for a university that says it is “student-focused.”

 

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