Open forums for the Presidential Search and Screen Committee begin Oct. 26 and run through Oct. 28. There will be seven total forums: two for faculty, two for staff, two for the outside committee (down one from the originally slated three), but only one for students.
When asked why there was not another forum for students, committee Chair Martin Butler said search firm Issacson Miller said they typically do not have high student turnout to forums and therefore one was enough.
However, Butler said they would schedule another if there were enough demand from students.
Still, there is a glaring problem with this approach.
The truth is that the forums have been poorly advertised. Yes, NKU is a commuter-based campus. However, for a process that could lead to electing someone who could change the face of the university, it is barely visible. The search committee needs to understand that despite their web page with periodic updates, the students need someone to get in their collective face.
For a population comprised of students who often have multiple jobs, children and other obligations, we need someone to tell us, “This matters. Care about it. Here’s why.”
So, here we go. This is important. And here’s why.
Even though students turn over more quickly than university faculty and staff tend to, it is students who stand to gain or lose the most. The goals and vision set forth by the university’s next leader will set the tone of the university. Current students should have a voice in this process.
The Northerner’s call to action in this editorial is two-fold: One, students, be involved in the process. Show up to the forum, and demand more. Two, NKU, give students the opportunity to be involved in the process. Provide more student forums and advertise them.
On the other side of the argument, students, why did you choose to come to NKU? What values brought you here? Was it small class sizes? Tuition? Location? Did you just get a better financial aid package than other universities?
All of these things can be changed with a different vision from a different president. Would you like NKU to keep the core values it has? Speak out.
Is there something you would like to see NKU do differently? Annoyed with high parking prices? Is class registration an inconvenience? Do you feel like NKU is losing sight of something that’s important to you? Speak out.
Now, NKU. Offer at least one more student forum, advertise it in advance and offer it in a different time frame than the one before. There will always be a sector of students that won’t participate regardless of convenience. But this will help other students who do wish to have their voice heard.
Regardless, the students’ voice needs to be the primary focus. We are NKU’s foundation. We are NKU’s reason to be. If it weren’t for us, our burgeoning “metropolitan” university wouldn’t be growing, university initiatives aside.