Summer send off: An ode to DUC 330

As the academic school year draws to a close, so does the end of an era: Student Life’s time in Danforth University Center room 330. Since its relocation to the DUC from the Women’s Building in 2008, Student Life has published 573 issues of the newspaper in this space. We’ve covered events from the presidential debate to the protests in Ferguson, Mo., and spent countless hours designing, writing and editing.

This summer, we will be moving across the hallway, into a smaller, different office, purely at the whims of the administration. While we have fought for our new space, and look forward to many aspects of the office, we love our current office. It holds memories and shelves the history of Student Life as an organization and the people that devoted their college career to it. We applaud the University’s effort to move the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in a more accessible and central spot on campus, but wish the administration would not make these decisions at the expensive of other students’ wishes.

In the same vein, Student Union held a joint session of Senate and Treasury on Tuesday night and chose to fund 0 percent of the administration’s requested $100,000—down from the previously proposed $300,000—out of SU’s rainy day fund for the relocation of SU’s office, a choice then approved by SU President Sydney Robinson. The refusal to supplement the University’s contribution with money built up over 10 years from previous students, who would in no way benefit from the move, runs parallel with our experience with the administration. We commend SU for their vote, and think this represents a common theme in recent interactions with the very people paid to look out for students’ best interests: the administration.

Additionally, following a years-long series of protests by students and faculty members, Chancellor Mark Wrighton dealt a blow to the divestment cause with a statement that repeated something all too familiar to those arguing against the University’s continued investment in fossil fuels: The University will not change its current policy and protect its endowment. Despite the lack of discernable change in the physical investments of the University, the Chancellor pledges to expand a slew of environmental research facilities and efforts on campus. This, we believe, shows the impact of students on campus, both undergrads and graduate students. The petition and list of demands submitted by Fossil Free WashU and other vocal student groups spurred tangible change and caught the attention of the highest-ranking University officials, in addition to the board of trustees.

To students, keep on pushing. Keep talking. Keep spreading information. Fighting for change on campus is worth it, whether the changes come into effect during your four years here or not. The debate sparked in recent weeks through the physics department’s continued efforts to solve its notable lack of diversity, in conjunction with submissions by a professor, showed the student body’s passion and willingness to speak out. The unification against injustice on our campus speaks volumes to the character of many, even if there is room to grow in many ways.

Going forward, especially considering we have a nice, cushy, two-and-a-half month-long break from each other, we hope the administration will come into the next school year with a readjusted and more reasonable mindset: to be more cognizant of student’s needs and requests. While we know they are looking out for the University’s interests, some considerations are pushed to the back burner or fall by the wayside completely. As members of the University community, students, staff and faculty deserve to have their voices heard and their concerns acknowledged.