What's happening on campus? That is something I could and maybe should ask myself everyday. The only problem with that question is I receive the same answer everyday. I don't have any idea what's going on. Well then I should try and find out, but where do I go and who do I talk to? This is one question that plagues me as a commuter.
Supposedly there is an organization known the Student Association, whose sole job, when you get right down to it, is to inform students of events that are going to occur on campus. If that is their job, then they suck at it because I can honestly say as I type away on my computer keys that many students, myself included, have no idea what is happening on campus.
I will take responsibility for not going to the SA Web site or picking up the "wondrous" magazine known as Visions, but what is SA doing to help me, and the thousands of other students who commute to UB everyday, find out about on-campus activities? Well supposedly there is a student who is the head of commuter affairs, but I don't know who that person is and I have probably never even seen him or her before.
What is their job? I know friends of mine who commute and have no idea what events are taking place on campus. The answer might be to read Visions, the biweekly SA publication, but have you picked up a copy lately? What exactly is there to be gained from reading that magazine? I picked up a copy the other day and it was still talking about the events of Homecoming Week, which as I remember ended last Saturday.
I am not writing to bash SA as a whole because many of the things that they do are very good. For example, helping students go to NYC to visit with their families after Sept. 11 and helping students save money by starting the online book exchange. But how did many people find out about the book exchange? By reading The Spectrum, not Visions. I haven't even seen an article about it in Visions.
Another resource in the communication link is the SA senate and assembly, which headed their first joint meeting a few weeks ago. I covered that event. I didn't even know that those two bodies existed. SA President Chris Oliver said that there are over 5,000 students involved in the over 180 clubs on campus. Well how exactly do students get to these meetings when they don't even know they are taking place? How are we supposed to bring problems to the senate and assembly when we don't know who the members are and when their meetings take place?
I am a freshman. If it hadn't been for my involvement with this paper I wouldn't know the background of the current e-board, or even how the current e-board, senators, and assembly members came to be where they are. I was not around last year to know how things are run, how things were or even how they have changed. One thing I do know is that I am lost in the void of on-campus activities and there is no one within miles who is even attempting to help me.
SA may become angry with this opinion piece and tell me it is my fault I am lost in this void. They will say they are only one organization and there are over 13,000 undergraduate students, who they have to try to update about what events are happening on campus. I should be reading Visions, visiting the SA Web site, and stopping at SA Day, but if they think that students always have time for all of that then they are living in a dream world. Most students don't have time to stop by the SA tables. They don't even tell us where we can find out more information if we wanted to. Where can I find this information? Who can I talk to? Who is the student commuter director and what does she do? These are all questions that need to be answered.
Many students will say that any person can sit back and criticize, but it takes a bigger person to try and change things. Well I am offering my services. I am more than willing to help the commuter affairs director or anyone that needs help. I will pass out fliers or help develop new ways to inform students of on-campus activities. However, this does not mean I am swayed from my original statement; SA's communication sucks. But as the saying goes, change is good.