Editorial: Student involvement: lack of interest or lack of time?

Bucknell Student Government (BSG) held two open forums to give students the opportunity to ask about the constitutional changes that will directly affect them prior to voting day. However, not a single student attended either of these forums.

Needless to say, members of BSG felt frustrated. They were disappointed at the turnout, or lack thereof. Similar constitution changes were downvoted by students one year ago. One theory as to why this happened is that the voters–namely, the students–were unaware of the meaning of these constitutional changes. BSG implemented these open forums this year prior to the vote in order to resolve the problem. BSG made it a priority to be transparent and informative to students.

Despite the opportunities to learn about these changes that will affect their lives on campus, student voters still remained unaware and uninvolved.

Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. This is just one instance that exemplifies an overwhelming problem on our campus–that is, one of student apathy.

It seems that unless something directly relates to them, students are disengaged. Some students tend to be unaware of campus events and student organizations in which they are not involved. It often seems that the only events that garner student support are the lectures with big-name speakers like Jane Goodall or RJ Mitte. This is disheartening to see, especially as a student publication that knows about every campus organization and event.

On the other hand, some students don’t try to be apathetic. Student involvement in athletics and clubs might be indirectly responsible for this campus climate that appears as indifference. Some students might not have the time or the energy to seek out new campus activities on a regular basis. For example, student-athletes spend at least 20 hours devoted to their sport in addition to their academic commitments, making it difficult to attend any other events.

Still, there is apathy at some of the most basic levels. Conversations around campus seem to revolve mainly around social interactions. It would be nice to hear conversations about campus events or current events outside of the campus bubble. Some students get their “news” by rumors circulating around campus via word of mouth or, even worse, resources like Yik Yak. It seems as if some students do not care enough to investigate on their own. Again, the theme runs through: so long as something isn’t directly impacting them, students just do not care enough.

College is a time for students to be engaged. We only have a short time on this campus, and we should make the most of it. It is a time to learn from each other, be it attending events or conversing with friends about them.

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