2012 is a big year. Turn on the news, and the discussion is probably about some aspect of the presidential race between Democrat President Barack Obama and Republican Nominee Mitt Romney – ranging from their positions on the big issues to what they were wearing last night. Not all of it is big and life changing, but it all contributes to the discussion about a major event that will affect the lives of every American.
Yet that’s not exactly the case here at Wilson. While occasionally something will pop up on the Facebook newsfeed, political views tend to get put on the sideline here – and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Many students say, “I just don’t like politics,” or “I just vote for whomever my parents vote for.” Getting involved and learning about what’s going on is important, especially when it involves electing the person who will be the leader of our country for the next four years.
Being informed doesn’t just have to be on a national level – it can be on a much more local and immediate level, such as right here at our own college. For example, this past spring students learned that due to a number of administrative decisions, the week between the end of finals and graduation (known as Senior Week) was going to be no more, with graduation occurring the day after the end of finals, in the process eliminating a number of traditions that occur during that week. To try and fight back, a sit-in was scheduled in April to be held on the Green – yet only a fraction of the student body showed up for this event. Here was an event that would have an immediate impact on the community, and only a fraction of our voices were making themselves heard.
Many Wilson community members probably don’t even realize what decision was reached. It was decided that finals would be moved ahead by a day so that the Friday of finals week will be free to do all the events that normally occur throughout the span of Senior Week. This upcoming May will be the first experience of this change – we will have to wait and see how it turns out.
Some community members have voiced their concerns about issues on campus, but only in passing. Only a few have actually taken their concerns and acted on them, like the students who organized the sit-in. The Wilson community has so many outlets available to them where they can make their voices heard and express their opinion, but we rarely take advantage of our opportunities. You don’t have to resort to sitting at the table in the dining hall stating how you dislike something and it will never change – it can! Make a petition, organize a meeting, go to a WCGA event, and ask questions if there’s something you want to know more about. The Letters to the Editor section of Billboard has not been seen in the past few years because no one has written anything for us to publish – it’s still here, and waiting to reappear in our publication.
At the very least, inform yourself about what is going on, and have the ability to decide for yourself how important an issue is to you. Now is an important time to make your voice heard. The Commission on Shaping the Future of Wilson College is currently researching ways to allow the college to thrive in the future, and looking at some large changes to Wilson in order for this to happen - including the possibility of admitting male residential students.
There’s a reason we’re known as Wild Wilson Women. It began with a group of alumnae who used their voices to save the college from closing in 1979. We can continue to make our voices heard now to ensure our college and its beloved traditions continue to survive into the future.