Local boards need more student reps

Daily Editorial Board

Local governing organizations in neighborhoods around the University of Minnesota sometimes have trouble recruiting students to serve as members, the Minnesota Daily reported Monday
 
But neighborhood groups such as the Southeast Como Improvement Association and the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association offer more than just high-level board positions. Interested students with less time on their hands can also work as volunteers or office assistants. 
 
Stacy Sorenson, a Minneapolis neighborhood support specialist, said Southeast Como and Marcy-Holmes are better at involving students than other city neighborhoods. 
 
The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association even hosts block parties and public awareness campaigns to encourage student participation. 
 
We feel students and their communities have a duty to support one another.
 
Encouraging the participation of student residents isn’t optional for neighborhood governing bodies — it’s part of their duty. However, students are ultimately responsible for involving themselves in their communities. No outreach campaign can succeed if its target audience remains totally unreceptive. We hope neighborhood organizations in
 
Southeast Como and Marcy-Holmes keep up the good work they’ve been doing to attract student participants. 
 
At the same time, we encourage more students living in these neighborhoods to get involved in governing associations. Participation exemplifies good citizenship. It ensures that communities fairly serve students — who, as short-term residents, could otherwise face marginalization — and allows students to accumulate valuable real-world experience in government. For students in fields such as public policy, serving on a local governing board could ultimately prove just as valuable as any college course.