Not a seat in the house

Student Association President Abe Andrzejewski should be commended for rapidly filling student seats on university committees and governing bodies.

Student representation is an important part of shared governance; it ensures that student interests will at least be considered when university administrators and faculty members are making decisions.

The student body elected Andrzejewski to look out for its interests, and placing student representatives on committees and on the University Council is one way Andrzejewski has been accomplishing this.

Student interests have not always been considered and very often student-related issues have simply been brushed aside by university administrators.

One example of this was when last year’s tuition increase was condensed from a three-year plan to a two-year. When the change in the plan was brought up by NIU’s governing board, the Board of Regents, only one of three university presidents mentioned the possible impact the change might have on students.

What’s sad about this situation is the fact that what Andrzejewski has done is unique. Past SA presidents have not taken the initiative and appointed full student representation to university committees and governing bodies.

The past weakness led to the detriment of the student body voice because of the lack of vital student representation on key university committees. Students weren’t consulted largely because their foot wasn’t in the door.

Appointing student representatives is the most basic responsibility of an SA president, not to mention one of the most important.

Future SA presidents had better realize that what Andrzejewski has done is not exceptional, it is to be expected.

The SA is supposed to be the student voice within the university’s governing framework. Without full student representation, this voice is partially silenced and student issues fall by the wayside.

Hopefully, the thorough footwork by Andrzejewski will leave a path for the footsteps of future SA presidents. Abe has set good example for next year, and many years to come.