Information: A two-way street; Letter from ASG

Some people seek out information; some want to be informed but don’t have the time; and some people really are apathetic.

No matter what type of person you are though, you cannot say the information isn’t out there.

Transparency at Allegheny has been a common subject the past few weeks. From the strategic plan to the Third Eye Blind concert to student voting, people want to know what is going on.

However, it seems that students only care after decisions have been made.  The problem is that students show little interest in getting involved through the decision–making process.

Trust me, we want and need your input!

In September, President Mullen sent out an e–mail to all students asking for their input before the strategic plan was drafted. There was even a link to the report. How many students actually read the report, and how many made inquiries or suggestions?

Last year, the survey for the concert included varieties of music, but many students said they would prefer names of actual bands to choose from. Therefore, this year a wide selection of musical acts was included in the survey, and the top choice band (Third Eye Blind) will be coming to campus.  However, students still aren’t happy.

Also, many thought that Cartel wasn’t a popular enough band, and there was poor turnout for the concert. Bringing in a big-name band costs money though. Now that a well–known act is coming to Allegheny, there is even more complaining about the cost of the concert. Allegheny Student Government is trying to follow student opinion, but it is hard when people don’t voice their opinions until after the fact.

Since I am the Director of Student Voting and Public Relations for ASG, it is my job to try to get students involved, but I have learned that putting out information in all different ways doesn’t seem to help levels of involvement.

No matter how many posters or flyers we hang up around campus, it is up to the students to actually read them. Sending out e–mails to the entire student body doesn’t seem to get anywhere either since most people just delete them without even reading the subject line.

ASG has a Facebook Page and Twitter account, but students still fail to use them in any constructive way. Please tell me what else we can do to get students involved in ASG decisions.

An article last week talked about how some students felt about the recent President / Vice Presidential elections. Students cited busy schedules and ignorance about the candidates.

The election lasted for two days online. It literally takes 15 seconds to vote. We are all students at Allegheny, and yes, we are all busy, but taking less than a minute away from your Facebooking to get on WebAdvisor and cast a vote is not unreasonable.

Meanwhile, ASG offered a few different ways to gain information about the candidates. There was a debate that maybe 50 total students attended, and a meet–and–greet with free cookies that was also sparsely attended.  Also, the candidates’ bios and platforms were available online, so people didn’t have to trudge over to the Campus Center.

While it is true that the college and ASG could always try different ways to reach out to students, being informed is a two–way street. The information is out there for all students. Sometimes you just have to look at posters or read a few e–mails.

Also, in case you didn’t know, ASG meetings are always open to the public.

They occur every Tuesday at 7:00 in CC 301 / 302.

Recently, Joe Hall from Residence Life and Dave McInally from Finance and Planning have been in attendance to talk to students about their concerns.

For those students out there, who really are interested in being more involved, ASG will soon be holding Senate elections for next year.

Being a Senator means (always) being informed and definitely having a vote on many important steps for the college.  Interested students can pick up a form in the ASG office.

Stephanie Albert  is a member of the class of 2010. She can be reached at [email protected].