There is a student involvement crisis at Western

Rachel Greene, Opinions Writer

When scrolling through the Western Illinois University social media pages, there are a few faces that can be seen on a regular basis. Likewise, when attending an awards ceremony on campus, there are a few consistent names that are heard. Is this only because a few students deserve to be seen or to be recognized for their work on campus? I do not think so. I think that the same few students are involved in the majority of campus events because of something bigger; an extreme lack of student involvement. It is not a coincidence that the same students you see leading the student body in the Student Government Association are also running the events for University Union Board. These organizations must function and no one is making an effort to join. A few individuals are filling in for many students that just will not get involved. Regardless of how many social media posts, email blasts or posters organizations create, students seem to be uninterested. Why is that? Understandably, some people are busy in their Greek organizations, with academics or with work, but what about the students that go to class and then go right back to their dorms? Are they really getting the full WIU experience? I say definitely not. I am sure there are plenty of capable leaders with great ideas who choose not to do anything here at Western. Being heavily involved on campus, I have met so many people, had the opportunity to grow as a leader and have seen what really makes this school a great place to be apart of. As a freshman, I expected it would be more difficult for me to work my way up to leadership roles, but no one seems to want them. We as a University have so many opportunities, events and organizations and I think the current student body may be taking them for granted. Without students, these organizations cannot continue to exist. Without participation, these events cannot go on. You may not attend them, but there are events on campus almost every day. Student leaders work tirelessly in their weekly meetings, one-on-ones and e-board meetings so that there is always something for students to do, but why do this if students do not bother to attend? It is frustrating to do your best to host an event that less than 10 students come to. I encourage anyone who genuinely loves and believes in this university and its potential to get out there and join something. Even if you don’t feel ready to make a commitment like that, at least get out there and participate in something. Without student voices, student leaders and student involvement this University would be a boring place to be. I would hate to see it get to the point where we have to get rid of amazing organizations because people do not care enough to attend one meeting a week. I am hopeful that more students will get involved in the coming year and that we can set a precedent for the incoming freshman class that it is important to do more than just go to class; we are not simply students, we are members of the Western Illinois University community