Recently, a few of the University’s institutions have undergone significant, sudden, and depending on one’s perspective, jarring, changes from above. First, the university’s chapter of Upward Bound, the federal college preparatory program for underprivileged high school students which for 44 years has found a host in USF, was denied renewal by the university’s leaders last November. Second, before the semester began, the campus saw the abrupt removal of the long-operating university radio station, KUSF, from the airwaves. And third, College Players, USF’s drama troupe established in1863, is currently undergoing a temporary suspension enforced by Student Leadership and Engagement.
People are entitled to their opinion. They can disagree as to whether this or that decision handed down by dean of the School of Education, by University Leadership, or by SLE was the correct course of action. The Foghorn acknowledges differences in opinion, and in fact encourages vigorous debate on these decisions. For decisions that affect the university community, it is imperative that USF’s issues of be carefully worked out among the university community openly and with a focus on dialogue, not arbitrarily in the style of a series of dissonant monologues.
That issues must are best resolved with communication and debate is self-evident. But in order for that to happen, there must be parties involved to engage in that dialogue. The Foghorn therefore urges one of these parties, USF’s student body, to become more engaged in these decisions. We contend that the student body in general must strive to demonstrate ownership of student organizations and of their university.
What do we mean? By ownership, the Foghorn does not mean for students attend every club meeting or sign up for each and every student organization. Instead, the student body is simply urged to take an increased interest in what is going on in their school. While participation in a USF sport is an obvious way for a student to show pride in and ownership of her university, the same could be done by regularly attending games and offering support from the stands. While the positions for student volunteers at the campus radio station are limited, listening to student programming is just as important in keeping a radio station relevant and alive as producing the broadcasts. And while not everyone can edit the student newspaper, everyone has the ability to read the articles, offer commentary, call on the paper to cover events relevant to the university community, and otherwise express their voice through the paper and through other student-run media.
As an example, while little may have been done to stop the transfer of KUSF’s 90.3 frequency, the fact that many students, when asked, had not even known USF ran a radio station illustrates that one essential elements of the USF conversation is missing: us, the student voice. If the undergraduate community does not furnish their end of the necessary dialogue needed to sustain a successful, vibrant, healthy university, then our university no longer belongs to us, and we can count on a school which will potentially diminish the student voice to the point from which it cannot recover.
Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy
Chief Copy-Editor: Natalie Cappetta
Opinion Editor: Vicente Patino