Resolve to get involved

The Daily is among many groups involved in the Student Services Fees process.

Britt Johnsen

Each semester can be equated to New Year’s. It’s every student’s chance to start fresh and resolve to excel. This semester, students should resolve to get involved with the Student Services Fees process.

Every year the Student Services Fees Committee makes recommendations regarding student groups and administrative groups. Groups from the Minnesota Student Association to Boynton Health Service to the Daily are included in these major funding decisions. Whether someone is a part of that group or feels strongly about a certain organization, every student should have his or her say.

Taking time to learn

Sometimes students’ eyes glaze over when they hear anything dealing with money, fiscal figures or funding. But when it comes to the Student Services Fees process, students ” whose hard-earned money will be paying these fees ” should offer their say. This means taking the time and energy to learn about the process. That means picking up the Daily to look for exclusive coverage, asking questions of your peers and community members and thinking critically about the possibilities and outcomes. Ask questions and look for answers. If there’s a hole in a story or logic, pursue a resolution. It’s wholly worth it because it directly affects everyone at the University.

For other information about fees, check out www.sao.umn.edu/groups/funding/fees/

Express yourself

Even if a student decides not to go in-depth in his or her involvement, expressing an opinion is the minimum a student can do during the Student Services Fees process. We all have busy lives and overstuffed schedules, but it doesn’t take that much time to attend a public hearing to listen to what groups have to say and react. It also doesn’t take much time to write a letter to the editor or submit a guest column detailing your opinion and furthering discussion.

It’s important for each individual to be heard so that the decisions made for the student body are representative of the students’ opinions.

The bigger picture

Another unique part about spring semester is that so many key decisions are made. Aside from the Student Services Fees Committee process, a lot is going on at the local and state levels in which students should have their say.

For example, the state Legislature will decide how much money to give the University for various projects.

Another big event on campus this year is the all-campus elections. New student-leaders and decision makers will be elected on and for the campus. Again, this means students should have a say in who is representing them.

Also this year is a governor’s race. Students will start to see and hear from more candidates who want to be major decision makers for the state. Students will be affected by decisions the governor makes ” be it tuition or taxes ” and they should get involved with and educated about state politics where they can as well.

Additionally, the University Board of Regents will make decisions that affect the University’s future. Until Jan. 27, students can have a say in what happens with the realignment.

At the very least, getting involved with the Student Service Fees Committee is one way to become a part of the major decisions made on this campus. Students have a lot of opinions. Getting them out is another thing.

University community members should make this new year’s ” or this semester’s ” resolution to become a cohesive part of their community and those that govern it. Take advantage of your time at this University and of your voice ” and make an impact.

Britt Johnsen welcomes comments at [email protected]