Your opinion counts; share it

By Matt Hopkinson

First year students and seniors, speak up.

What makes college life great is autonomy, self-reliance and ability to find your identity and your voice.

Many first year students and even seniors are missing out on the ability to make their voices heard and have their opinions yield tangible results.

The Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning (OSEEL) has begun conducting its part in the National Survey of Student Engagement.

This survey takes into account the opinions and perspectives of freshman and final year students on their abilities, experiences and opportunities to, you guessed it, engage in activities on campus.

NIU currently has 9,343 students that are eligible and have received an email allowing them to complete this survey. As of now, less than 10 percent of all students have completed it.

If you are a student who complains that there’s nothing you’re interested in or something you feel should be here, but you don’t feel your opinion matters, it does. This survey is meant to address those issues. If you’re too lazy to click a few buttons, you don’t have the right to complain about anything.

The last time this survey was administered in 2008, students reported that there were not enough themed learning communities or research opportunities available to them. What happened? The OSEEL office created themed learning communities and Research Rookies, a program aimed to allow undergraduate students to pair up with professors to partake in research.

Having the survey limited to freshman and seniors limits the possibilities of all other students.

Freshman can literally sculpt the future of their time at college, while seniors can reflect on what their time was like and maybe make it better for students still here.

The goal is to reach at least 40 percent response rate, which isn’t asking for a lot. It’s asking for 20 minutes out of your day to change the campus for years to come. So browse through your student email, realize it’s not spam, and send director of OSEEL Julia Spears your thoughts and feelings. It could change someone’s life.