The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Some senators fail to take big survey

Editor’s note: The number of students not represented in the survey was corrected to 3,500, not 7,500 as initially posted.

Anyone who has followed the Blugold Committment knows that a lack of student participation had been a major issue since its proposal.

Unfortunately, that lack of input includes our Student Senate as well.

Student Body President Michael Umhoefer recently sent a survey to all 32 members of the Senate to better understand their feelings on their fast-approaching vote, which will probably be in December.

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But before they vote, they need to know how students want them to vote.

Only 20 of the surveys were completed.

One third of the people who were elected to be the voice of thousands of students chose not to use that voice. Since each senator represents about 350 undergraduates, that means roughly 3,500 students were theoretically without representation on the survey.

The fact that a large portion of senators decided not to participate is especially curious considering the Senate’s expressed concern with lack of student input.

As a reminder to both the Senate and the student body, the Blugold Committment is by far the most important decision that the university has had to make in quite some time.

Whereas other issues may fly under the radar of less-than-interested students, everyone will feel the effects of this plan.

If the Committment passes, tuition increases and changes in course requirements are things that could be felt as early as Fall 2010.

If it doesn’t pass, some may argue that there are worse effects to be felt in the future, such as lower class availability and a below UW System-average four-year graduation rate.

The Board of Regents has recommended the university propose the plan in February instead of December to put more efforts into planning and to give the student body more time to voice concerns or support.

Students have been given the opportunity to decide the future of university policy, so we recommend that students – especially senators — take advantage of it.

If the lack of participation continues in the Senate, we hope concerned members of the campus take the proper action to ensure senators are doing their jobs as elected officials to provide the best representation for the student body and the campus’ future.

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