Remember that issue of the Alcohol License Review Committee student voting member? That thing The Daily Cardinal has been harping on for over a week now?
Well, there has been a bit of a change.
Following discussions between Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and District 8 Ald. Bryon Eagon, the originator of the proposal, a compromise solution was reached. Eagon agreed to pull his proposal from tonight's Common Council meeting. Instead, the Common Council will vote on a measure to add one additional alder and one additional citizen as voting members to the ALRC. As the mayor's part of the compromise, Cieslewicz has agreed to appoint a student to the citizen position.
While we would have preferred for Eagon's proposal to go through, as it would have guaranteed that the student voting member would be permanent, we nonetheless feel this is a clear victory for students. This will finally allow students to have a true voice on the ALRC, a committee that greatly affects students living downtown, whereas current student representative Mark Woulf is limited to a non-voting role. Regardless of how this occurs, that was the central goal of this campaign and we are definitely pleased by this most recent development.
For reaching this compromise, we feel that both Eagon and Cieslewicz need to be commended. Eagon in particular has put forth an incredible amount of effort, whether it be through reaching out to the student body and fellow alders or his talks with the mayor's office. As for Cieslewicz, we are encouraged to see him be this responsive to a student-centric issue. It sends a clear message to students when an elected official treats us as the adults and concerned citizens that we are, and by listening to both Eagon and the student-led campaign Cieslewicz has shown he is more than willing to do that.
However, we shouldn't head over to an aircraft carrier and declare ""Mission Accomplished"" just yet. Eagon will still be introducing a proposal to recommend to the mayor that the new citizen ALRC member be a student. Cieslewicz has said he intends to appoint a student regardless of how the common council votes, but this is still an important step to gauge the support of the alders. Keep in mind that the council still needs to approve whoever Cieslewicz appoints. If they refuse to endorse a student voting member, even in this compromise form, it will likely be an uphill battle when the confirmation vote comes around.
It is for this reason that we still highly encourage students to attend tonight's Common Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the City-County Building. As we stated in Monday's editorial, this is key to showing that students deserve a voice in local affairs. Not only will this help the cause of the ALRC student voting member, it will show that students can easily mobilize on behalf of an issue.
""This is the most engaged I have seen students—not just engaged, but wanting to be involved in a city commission,"" said Cieslewicz at a meeting unveiling the compromise proposal. With this cause, students have shown they have political power to wield, and there is no reason they shouldn't use it more often on more issues that affect students, not just alcohol policy. It would be a shame to see that momentum derailed. So put off that reading for another night and watch your favorite T.V. show tomorrow on Hulu. Tonight, let your voice be heard.