Use Assembly To Tackle Housing Crunch

by John Honovich | 5/11/94 5:00am

Over the past few weeks a number of students have advocated changes in the housing structure, discussing issues such as freshmen dorms and the housing shortage. Substantial change, enacted by students, can occur if we use the resources of the Student Assembly to investigate specific proposals.

A number of times in the past year, the Assembly has been a source of ridicule. Often it was well deserved. However, we should not accept the Student Assembly as joke and a non-factor on this campus.

Next year's Assembly seems to be a lot less ideological and confrontational than this year's. This should offer some encouragement to those who have doubted the Assembly in the past.

At a minimal level, the Assembly provides organization and contact with the administration. No matter how strong or weak the Assembly is, this holds true.

As the Assembly grows more adept, it can provide students with services and improvements that would not otherwise be provided. It is highly unlikely that major changes in housing will be changed solely through independent student complaints. No matter how many letters are written, without organization and leadership provided by a student government, major change cannot be accomplished.

The Assembly is also needed to investigate figures and quantify student complaints. It's one matter to say that we should build a new dorm or freshmen need to be put into their own dorms, but it is a completely different situation figuring out the costs, the effects, and how these changes fit into the future of the College.

This is the challenge and the responsibility of all those who really want to make changes. To accomplish something, it is not enough to say, "I support this idea." One needs to look into the specifics of a proposal. The most efficient way to make effective improvements is through the Assembly.

The housing situation is a case in point. The Assembly has recently established a new committee to investigate the housing situation. This committee will provide organization and representation to student concerns about housing. It will also investigate specific proposals, such as building a new dorm, with an emphasis on determining cost, student support, and effects these changes would have on the rest of the housing situation. This is something that should offer hope to those who doubt that students can enact change.

If the Assembly is used effectively, the possibilities of enacting substantial change are greatly enhanced. If there's an issue you care about, like housing, contact the Student Assembly and get involved.

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