Throughout the last four years, no on-campus relationship has been more pertinent to me than that of our campus newspaper and our student government.

As The Mirror’s beat writer, I was the man in the middle, covering those with the task of leading FUSA.

Many outside the windowed walls of our office and the cubicles of FUSA think The Mirror hates FUSA and vice versa. But in reality it is only a natural dialogue between students that care.

Some think that it is easy for us to critique those who work on the other side of the BCC, but in reality it is not. It is far easier to criticize administration or even professors, than those that you may run into on a Friday night.

FUSA and The Mirror clash because each group cares about the other and what is happening on campus. I know this because I have done distribution and when I put the paper out on Wednesdays, Jeff Seiser is there with a grin to greet me.

In my four years at The Mirror, we seem to play up student apathy all the time. We talk about the “Fairfield bubble” and the fact that students simply don’t care.

As an elder statesman in what may be more of an exit interview than a column, I will say that apathy is dying.

The staff, to follow my lead, will have their work cut out for them. They have the privilege of working with President-elect Eddie Muniz ’11. In my four years covering student leadership, I have never heard such high leaders talk with some much excitement about the future.

I myself voted for Kyle Duggan, Muniz’s unsuccessful opponent. I knew Kyle more and felt his strong leadership would serve Fairfield well.

But my friends in FUSA are excited now, and so I will follow their lead. I had to privilege of interviewing the now famous, yet still humbled “Eddie.”

He has his feet on the ground and his eyes set toward his goals for which he was elected. With Lauren Johnson ’11 and Senate Chair, Greg Burke ’11 on board, and who knows, maybe Duggan himself, Muniz will have strong help.

We put an editorial online last week, not in print, and it generated over 20 comments. People think that the FUSA election is something students will not care enough to make the effort to go down to the lower level … but 20 of the three thousand plus just got a head start in our comments section. We have seen a year when people literally plastered our publication on our windows because a column disrespected what they believe in.

Yet, I am forced to think of a favorite quote of my favorite student leader.

Jeff Seiser is a Spiderman fan. He has often said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” And so it is our job, though it may be awkward, to call out student leaders when failed.

No moment in my student career could be more obvious then when the FUSA Senate did not follow through with plans to protest Admitted Student’s Open House in 2008 because of the OCB Lottery.

The opportunity to seize the moment was upon FUSA and they were unable step up because, as I quote former FUSA member Jamie Abromaitis ’09, “We don’t want to burn bridges with the administration.”

At the time, some of my co-workers and I thought that FUSA was an organization filled with “sell-out puppets,” a phrase they obviously hate. But what I didn’t realize is that the problem was on the other side of that bridge. The administration does not come close to respecting FUSA.

You see, the thing you have to understand about the FUSA and The Mirror is that their efforts reach beyond their possible outcomes. Jeff Seiser was not the guy who let every senior live down at the beach. He didn’t cut the core in half. He didn’t lower tuition by five percent in a recession. But he did his job. He worked himself to exhaustion as a junior and when he could have stopped, he said give me another.

But as with great power comes great responsibility. So his choices came with great time and calculation. And if each student is spending $95 a year in student activity fees, they will want to know what they have done … right?

Because of the small student body size, you probably know someone at The Mirror and someone at FUSA. Whether they are The Mirror Photo Guy or the FUSA Senate Chair of Academics, you see the commitment they have to what they do day in and day out.

FUSA and The Mirror want the same things every student wants: a better Fairfield. But at the same time, don’t you think it is sad that we struggle so much to get it?

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.