Remember the Summer? | UVA Student Council

Once upon a time, on a Grounds not so far away, there was a massive explosion of discussion about the future direction of this University, a groundswell of student pride, and–ironically–a sense of togetherness that can only come from crisis.

…but now it’s almost October, and classes, clubs, sports, and friends have re-consumed us all.  We’ve settled back into routines, gotten busy, and all but forgotten about the whirlwind of controversy that was this summer.

I’m reminded of Rahm Emanuel’s infamous quote: “never let a crisis go to waste.”  I worry we might be doing just that.

Every day we let the issues of budgets, program cuts, online learning, growth strategy, and student/professor/administration/BOV relations fade into vague memories of the past, we give up the incredible opportunity we had–and still have–to keep up a strong dialogue about making this University a better place for years to come.

Earlier this semester I got the chance to ask President Sullivan what role she thought we students would play in addressing the challenges that were at the core of the summer’s drama.  She told me it was largely through speaking up, through getting our voices out there at every level–from strategic planning to budgeting decisions to implementation.  She told me she’d work to make sure the students who make up this University get a chance to contribute to its path forward.

That’s not a chance we can afford to give up.  Let’s keep the discussion going.  Let’s keep putting our crisis to good use.

That’s what I’m committed to–and for the sake of the University, I hope you are, too.

Jalen Ross

SEAS Rep. 2012-13