Letter to the editor: Process of student government requires reevaluation

Isamar Chávez

We need to check our selves, before we wreck ourselves and others along the process (shout out to those who know that reference). I share the sentiments of sadness, confusion, and betrayal at the decision of yet another tuition increase.

As a proud former community college student who worked a total of five part-time jobs, while earning my name on the President’s and Dean’s list, I know first hand how hard students have to work in order to obtain an education. Students who are busting their beaver tails off, I see you. I believe in you. Don’t give up. Perhaps, you don’t have time to read this because you are probably working that extra shift to pay for that book.

As ASOSU Campus Affairs Task Force Director, my job entitles I do my best to assist ASOSU in promoting self-governance in the best interest of students at Oregon State University. This includes, but it is not limited to, coordinating projects and campaigns that will increase livability, safety, and academic success for OSU students. The ASOSU Vision Statement declares, “Imperative to our service is a commitment to representing all students—particularly those who are not able to directly participate.”

It has been difficult to gather student engagement due to the lack of transparency ASOSU has had in the past with representing student concerns. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to be able to work with student leaders, faculty, staff, and administration who care about others. However, after attending the Board of Trustees meeting, seeing our student representative vote for tuition increases gave clarity to the heartbreaking reality of how easy it is to forget about putting student faces behind issues.

If rallying up students to lobby in Salem is a way to move forward, why has it not been working? How do we expect students to come to an organization to express their concerns, when they feel powerless? Transparency is being able to be honest and accessible.

A call to action: reevaluate our student government flaws in order to move forward to respond to students concerns—particularly those who are restricted from participation.

Beloved intellectual, hard working, beautiful beavers, I don’t know what the answer is to fix a national problem. However, I do know when there is a sense of community beautiful things can happen.

Isamar Chávez

Undergraduate Student,

Education and Social Sciences

ASOSU Campus Affairs Director

Oregon State University

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