College of DuPage's student newspaper | Est. 1967

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VOTE: Your opinion does matter

Why you need to vote in the SLC election next week

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Most of the students attending the College of DuPage want absolutely nothing to do with the institution in any other manner than the classroom setting. That’s a fact of life all clubs and organizations face constantly at COD, especially due to most of our student body being focused on attaining a two-year degree.

Outreach to a crowd of deaf-by-choice students who only want to utilize this school as a stepping stone is poisonous to the development of the college as it pertains to the needs of the students and faculty. Without input from every cog in the machine, from professors and students to janitors to groundskeepers, this institution wouldn’t be as accommodating and welcoming as it has become since its rural beginnings.

As a student, the single most powerful action you can do to impact the college is vote for our student body government officials. The Student Leadership Council (SLC) is a group of elected and appointed student officers who take part in representing the student body to the college-at-large.

During every spring semester at COD, the SLC elections take place, where students are able to vote for their representative in each of the three respective positions up for grabs: student trustee, SLC president and vice president.

The student trustee represents the voice of every COD student at every board of trustees meeting. The student who’s elected has the ability to start and second motions, which allows them to be a deciding factor as to whether or not the trustees will discuss or vote on an issue. As well, the elected student has the option to express student opinions on every vote tallied at regular meetings.

The SLC president and vice president work in tandem to delegate students to positions on campus-wide committees and accomplish goals based on student needs.

One recent example of a goal is the SLC’s attempt to put a multicultural center on campus. Many of you might be asking: What is a multicultural center? Why do we even need one at COD? These are fair and honest questions. Many of us on the editorial board see how this center can be beneficial to certain students, however we are skeptical of the use and application of said accommodation.

The idea came out of a forum near the end of the Fall 2016 semester, after the presidential election, where students put out concerns as to whether they felt welcome on campus or not. With this, the SLC decided to look into ways to ease this emotional distress, which led them to the concept of a multicultural center.

COD used to have a multicultural center, but it was funded with grants and dissolved as soon as the money evaporated. It was more of a bolted-on service rather than an integrated part of the college. Through comparing other centers at community colleges across the state, the SLC found it is necessary for the student body to have access to a center with the purpose of feeling welcome on campus.

Whether you agree with the implementation of this center or not is mostly politics. To some, this could sound like a form of a safe zone, which might not feel necessary. To others it’s a center for students of all cultures to unite. If you are the former, then you probably wouldn’t like taxpayer funds supporting this idea. The latter group will see the center as a necessary addition to the college.

This discussion and many more are the purview of the SLC. This student organization has the power to disseminate opinions in committees regarding curriculum, food services and other accommodations, which pertain to student needs and wants. Through stagnation, many students fail to see how powerful these positions truly are in regards to influencing college administration and shaping the ideas of what a student needs to succeed.

If you feel like your voice isn’t being heard on campus, your first stop should be the SLC office down the hall from the campus Starbucks. Complaining to your friends and your Twitter account won’t spark the change you want to see. The SLC is here to listen to you as a student, and without your input they cannot do their job properly.

Don’t forget to vote for next school year’s SLC representatives on March 14 and 15 through chaplife.cod.edu. Without your vote, your opinion isn’t being heard, and the SLC becomes a microcosm of student opinions rather than a melting pot.

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College of DuPage's student newspaper | Est. 1967
VOTE: Your opinion does matter