When we were approaching campus leaders to write for “Improve TU,” we encountered a lot of reluctance among students and faculty. There were plenty of people with great ideas for making TU a better place. And a number of people agreed to write about them.
But many were hesitant to put those ideas in writing and publish them in the Collegian.
In conversation with a few of them, it came out that their hesitation boiled down to something pretty simple. Some feared that criticizing the school or their department would come back to bite them. We can only speculate as to what made these people fearful to share their ideas in public.
Others didn’t want to be seen rocking the boat. Which is just too bad, since TU would be a better place if its students, staff and faculty were more willing to voice their criticism.
Changing things is difficult, but recent events have shown that it’s necessary. When a student suing the university says her report of sexual assault was unfairly treated, when another student was suspended without a hearing for speech that wasn’t his, and when your administration puts pressure on its student journalists not to do their job, you know you’ve got a problem.
But problems can be solved. We remember a time when TU didn’t have a non-discrimination statement that applied to its students. Now, thanks to agitation on the part of student groups, it does.
Things change when people make noise. They don’t change when people are reluctant to express their opinions. Things change when people who care about TU organize and make their concerns known. They don’t change when the predominant platforms for criticism are TU Confessions and Yik-Yak.
So stop complaining to your best friend and start making your opinions heard on a wide scale. Write a letter to the editor. Send a formal complaint to Steadman Upham.
There’s power in numbers; arrange meetings between your student groups and administrators to express shared concerns. Or get out on the New U with a bunch of protest signs and let the TU community know how you feel.
Just rock the damn boat.