Student government is currently working to get a non-voting student member on the Fort Collins City Council, a proposal that the city needs to carefully consider for the benefit it would carry for both the city and students.
As in any college town, the university and the city have a love-hate relationship. On the positive side students bring jobs, customers and vibrancy to a community. On the negative side, they bring noise, drunkenness and property damage, among other side effects.
Because of those effects, the relationship between the students and the city is often strained, a strain that could be mitigated by allowing students a permanent voice on the City Council.
Itâ€™s clear that students should not have a vote. For most, Fort Collins will be nothing more than a temporary home, a stepping-stone on the way to fully-adult life. As such, they should not have the ability to vote on issues that have long-term implications for the city.
But students do make up a large proportion of city residents and do have a stake in city politics and policies. Giving students the opportunity to sit in on and discuss city policies allows students to have a stake in their city and help the City Council build a better community â€“â€“Â something the Council should keep in mind.
On the flip side, the Associated Students of CSU needs to consider its proposal carefully. Having a member on the City Council, even a non-voting member, is a big responsibility and one that shouldnâ€™t be taken lightly. Approaching the proposal with respect and reflection is important.
This is a big opportunity for both the City Council and ASCSU and has the possibility to improve the way the city and students interact.