While Montclair State University students can commonly be found complaining about building conditions, parking, dining or some combination of the three, there are very few that are taking action.
Montclair State offers a wide array of opportunities for students to discuss and find solutions to problems plaguing the student body, but they have continued to stay silent. The university is home to 20,000 students, but in order to make Montclair State a better place to live, learn and grow, students need to step up.
Currently, there are several seats in the Student Government Association (SGA) Senate that remain vacant. The student government is a major force in making changes on campus, as they oversee over 100 organizations on campus and attempt to provide all students with a fulfilling college experience. Beyond the positive change they create, being a part of the SGA can provide a huge boost to one’s résumé, and there are more than enough qualified candidates on campus.
However, students’ lack of interest in roles like this is alarming. Through the SGA, students have the ability to control many aspects of student life at Montclair State. They can address many of the problems students face every day, and it is important to realize that everyone has something to say.
Montclair State also provides students with ample opportunities throughout the year to get their voices heard. One of the most important opportunities is the Tuition Hearing, which occurred on Friday. The yearly event provides the campus community with an open forum to discuss changes in tuition. Tuition is an important topic for all students, but few students make the effort to attend the hearing.
While it would require students to put in some effort to attend such meeting, it would take very little effort to vote for those who represent students. Only 10 percent of undergraduate students participated in this year’s SGA elections. Even seemingly easy tasks can make a big difference.
We, as a community, are very lucky to have so many opportunities and decision-making freedoms — something we cannot let slip through our fingers. By not participating, students are giving up their voices on issues that matter to them. It is easy to complain about Montclair State, but complaining does not create change. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Creating change starts with our involvement, and speaking up is the only way for students to be heard. After all, how can we expect to solve the problems of tomorrow if we cannot be bothered with the problems of today?