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Friday, May 7, 2021

OPINION: Get involved, find our president

Western prides itself for being a politically active student body. Students join clubs, volunteer, participate in protests, talk with their friends and family about the issues, register to vote and so much more.

Students get passionate and they get involved, which is why it was surprising to see that only one solitary student attended the Presidential Search open forum Monday, Nov. 2, afternoon in Fraser Hall.

There are a lot of reasons this could have happened. Maybe students didn’t know about it. Maybe students were busy and couldn’t make it.

But maybe — just maybe — this is an important opportunity that is slipping right through students’ fingers, and we should all work a little harder at making some time to voice our opinions.

We, The Western Front Editorial Board, feel this is an important chance to have student opinions heard directly by the people who will find our university’s next president. This is not an opportunity to be taken for granted.

The University of Washington, also looking for a new president, has recently come under scrutiny for not conducting their selection process publicly enough. Students and faculty at UW even started a petition to have the finalists of their selection to be publicly named.

If students don’t get involved and share their thoughts on this selection the decision will be made without them. And Western could end up with a president who doesn’t represent students’ needs.

It’s great that Western has so many active groups on campus that want to affect change at our school. But where are you guys?

We know students have opinions on the qualities the new president should have. We know this because we’ve heard students talk about what they’re passionate about. We’ve interviewed students, reported on student protests and gone to the events students have organized.

Fortunately, there is another chance. There will be another forum held at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4, in Haggard Hall 153.

If you absolutely can’t make it to that, share your thoughts online at www.wwu.edu/president-search-survey. Or ask for another forum at another time, this committee really wants to hear from you.
So get out there and talk to them. Be heard. This is important.

For this story, The Western Front Editorial Board is comprised of Heidi DeHart, Stephanie Bishop and photographer Caleb Galbreath.

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