Staff Editorial: Presidential search opportunity to hear student voice

With President Bill Perry stepping down from his position in June 2015, the search process is on, and that means students who will most feel the effect of the new president should have their input heard. 

In its early stages, the presidential search committee will be bringing a representative from the consulting firm Korn Ferry to hear what students, staff and faculty have to say about what they want in the new president. 

From 1:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. Sept. 9 in the Charleston-Mattoon Room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, students and staff will have an opportunity to let the consultant know what they want in a new president. 

Representing the student body as a whole will most likely be the standard set of faces, such as the student body president. But that’s not enough, especially if you are a freshman or sophomore and will be around the longest for the new president, you should show up and have your say at the open forum. 

Change comes from the voices who speak up, so now should be the time to give your opinion on what the new president should be focused on. 

Perry’s contract ends in the middle of a storm of controversial topics: budget cuts, retirements and low enrollment numbers — just to name a few. 

These topics have a way of rippling out and effecting students here, especially when you look at the fact that you have four years left to go. Problems will arise at any university, but so rare is it that you have the power to contribute to its solution. 

If you have problems with this university you want brought to the new president’s attention before they sign on, then speak up now. That’s the reason for the open forums and transparency in the search. 

Don’t expect other students to feel as passionately as you do about certain issues. But on the flip side, do take the search and open forums seriously. Don’t be tempted to bring up imaginary or minute problems that are fixed every day. 

Look at the long-term effects and what it does to you as a paying student for this school. Emphasis on the paying part, by the way. You funnel in thousands of dollars each semester and you should be 100 percent happy with the school you’ve chosen. The step in the right direction is making sure your voice is heard and the problems you have are being addressed. 

Very rarely do students have the power to sit down and let someone know what they want in an administrator, so take full advantage of it. Don’t let it be the same stock students — step out of your residence hall and bring what you believe to be the major problems at Eastern to the forefront. 

Eastern begins a new chapter in June 2015. Depending on how you want it written will depend if you care now. 

For one hour you will have the opportunity to try and shape the future of this school, which is a chance few students ever see. 

Think about it this way: if you don’t care now, then when your problems and issues aren’t addressed in 2015, you have no right to complain. It’s a matter of getting out there and realizing that’s how change is made — speaking up.