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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Students needed at Council meeting

For the past week, The Daily Cardinal has called upon students to contact city alders and express their support for District 8 Ald. Bryon Eagon's proposal to add a student voting member to the Alcohol License Review Committee. Spurred by the ALRC's unanimous rejection of the proposal, we have lauded Eagon's idea, printed contact information for the Common Council and called for a boycott of the Nitty Gritty, the bar owned by Marsh Shapiro, one of the most vehement and dismissive opponents of the student voting member. We feel all of these actions have been important to improve the chances the full Common Council will approve the proposal.

However, we are now calling upon students to voice their support for the proposal in perhaps the strongest and most important way: showing up.

At the last ALRC meeting, opponents of the proposed student voting member pointed out that other than Eagon and current non-voting ALRC student representative Mark Woulf, no students showed up to voice their support. After all, why should students be given a voice on this committee, they asked, if they cannot even be bothered to show up for this vote?

The merits of this argument are dubious at best. The main reason students need a voting member on the committee is to ensure there is a person on the ALRC to speak on their behalf. But nonetheless, it is a key reason many opponents have cited in opposition to student representation. As far as they can tell, students don't care about this proposal, so why do they deserve a voice?

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But students clearly do care. They care about the safety of their community, they care about business interests downtown and they care about the entertainment options they have on a Friday night, all issues that the ALRC has considerable influence over. The Common Council needs to be aware of just how much students have invested in the goings-on of the ALRC, and the way to show this is for students to attend Tuesday's Common Council meeting.

Students need to send a powerful message that they should be included in public affairs. There are few better ways to do this than to show up to this week's meeting en masse and provide indisputable physical evidence of just how dedicated Madison students are to this cause. Anybody who insists that students are too apathetic, too lazy and too ignorant of city affairs will be deservedly laughed out of the room.

Participation is vital. If the alders walk into that meeting only to find Eagon is the only student there, we will not be taken seriously, regardless of whether that attitude is justified or not. Help make sure the student voice is heard by attending Tuesday's Common Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. in room 201 of the City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Students should have a seat at the table and we need to show just how badly we deserve it. 

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