Editorial: Students: take action for future of NU

President Joseph Aoun’s Academic Initiative plan promises to revitalize Northeastern and bring in a new wave of academic achievement that will push the school into the upper echelon of American universities. The planning process is far-reaching; it includes re-writing Northeastern’s mission statement and creating a whole host of committees and advisory councils, which hold forums open to students and faculty to gauge their interest on important issues. If successful, the plan will affect every student here at Northeastern for the better.

So why aren’t students going to these meetings?

Well, for a start, it seems not many know about them.

The initiative has created seven new exploratory committees, based on various aspects of Northeastern, including cooperative education. Each committee will present its ideas for improving its respective division to President Aoun. They are also responsible for holding open meetings to get student and faculty input, and each committee has been making moves to do so. The meetings, which so far have been attended by faculty, are hearing only the noise of crickets from students. A lack of advertisement – plus a healthy dose of apathy – appears to be the culprit.

With only some play on myNEU and a general lack of signs around campus advertising the meetings, it is hard to blame students for sleeping through the process. But that does not mean a full-fledged campaign to raise awareness would do much to increase attendance at meetings. Call us crazy, but we have a hunch students just aren’t dying to go to a meeting about, say, Fundamental and Translational Research. And that truly is a shame.

Sure, the meetings may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a chance for students to voice their opinions. It may be tempting to skip, it but when students wake up one day to find Northeastern revamped in a way that does not suit their interests, they will be sorry indeed. And they will only be able to blame themselves.

This initiative will affect every student, and this could be the only opportunity for everyone to get out there and be a part of it. Students need to care and be willing to give input.

The voice of the student body is as valid as the faculty’s, and students must be willing to take advantage of this forum. The initiative is, after all, meant to benefit them, and how can the committees make recommendations without student input?

Students need to stand up and take responsibility and be a part of the process. They can’t entirely be held accountable for not going to meetings, as they didn’t know about them, but they now need to be making an effort to find out. They may have gotten an easy-out card this time, but attendance at these meetings has to rise. It is unfair to complain about academics at this school if you’re not willing to participate in the process to change it. It’s the students’ turn to step up and be active around campus. Students, you need to get passionate about something and shape the changes that are coming.

Northeastern is going to change whether you’re willing to participate or not.

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