Involvement is important when problems arise at UCA. Whether with administration or other parts of university life, members of the UCA community have a duty to stay involved with important university affairs.
Last week’s Campus Talk was the first one in a long time where the UCA community showed much interest in participation. Other than questions submitted via email previous to the campus talks, few questions were asked in person by the people in attendence, even immediately after former Chief of Staff Jack Gillean’s trial ended.
Last week, several people showed interest in the wellbeing of the university by asking questions about former Executive Assistant to the President Gilbert Baker. While the university did what it could to avoid answering the questions, the fact that they were asked shows actual interest from community members in UCA’s future. This is a positive step for a generally uninterested university community.
More students, faculty and staff should show up to more Campus Talks, board of trustees meetings and any other gathering of people that may affect their lives. If people don’t show up, members of these organizations can’t get the wide variety of perspectives they need to make important decisions.
Showing up and voicing an opinion probably won’t change a representative’s mind, especially with important decisions. However, it will show them that they need to have reasons for their decisions and can’t merely steamroll people to do what they want.
Generally, opposition during meetings such as board of trustees or city council will not change votes, but it can help make realistic compromise. When the Kroger on Prince Street and Salem Road expanded, the Conway City Council voted to allow it.
However, due to opposition from many concerned citizens who worried about a new gas station so close to houses, the Kroger employee in charge of the expansion agreed to a more advanced air filtration system in the gas pumps, which was the first of its kind in the state.
While this wasn’t on campus, it shows that passionate opposition or support for a policy can impact how it is implemented.
Opposing or supporting an idea will not always be successful. However, people in power that their community is watching and listening sends the important message that their constituents care about their communities.
Communities work best when there is constructive feedback, communication and participation. A lack of these things causes a vacuum of attention at UCA. Administrators will take advantage of this and try to keep decisions quiet. Campus Talks must be taken advantage of and are a way for people to get involved.
The UCA community should continue to show interest in issues important to UCA. Without a display of interest, students, faculty and staff will allow leaders to make decisions unopposed.