As Chapman University students, many of us call Orange our home for at least nine months of the year. The laws, policies and dialogue happening in local government forums absolutely have an effect on our daily lives whether we know what they are or not.
Therefore, we believe that more students, whether through a club or on an individual volunteer basis, should attend and participate in Orange city council meetings to have our voices heard by city leadership. We should start sending a diverse group of student representatives to city council meetings so that we can also add to the discussions on the local agenda.
In the past, policies regarding issues such as noise ordinances, party fines and expansion have been created largely without much of a student perspective or awareness on the matters.
It is on us as students to make our perspectives heard in these meetings to make sure all sides are actually heard on city policy.
We can actually look to groups like Neighbors Say No and the Old Towne Preservation Association as examples of how to engage city officials in dialogue. We may not all agree with their perspectives, but both groups are effective in uniting people for a cause and consistently making sure their voicesare heard by Orange’s leadership.
This is where a student club could be effective. Using campus extracurricular activities to our advantage would help with the needed amount of organization and dedication to expressing our student body’s diverse views.
Ideally, students with mixed sets of views would benefit these dialogues. For example, it would not be fair to send students who all enjoy partying since some portions of the student population do not, and vice versa.
During the last city council meeting on Oct. 13, Chapman students were described as a “transient population.” While we all may not have lived here for decades, this place is just as much our home as anybody else’s in the city.
We deserve to participate in the local dialogue, and it is our responsibility as students to take the initiative and sacrifice the time it takes to attend these council meetings. What goes on during those sessions can have a much bigger impact on our daily lives than is often realized.
One issue that is often a topic of discussion about our student body is that we are “too apathetic”— starting to attend and participate in city council meetings and taking a stance in public forums would be a strong step in shaking that stigma.