New SF State Parents Council stifles students' independence

A new organization is in the process of being formed at SF State this semester, but unlike most campus organizations, this one isn’t for the students. It’s called the Parents Council, and it was formed in hopes of improving the connection between the University and the parents, guardians and family members of students. The members of the organization hope to serve as a resource to the University and offer a parents’ perspective to administration and faculty.

Janice Gumas, founder and president of the Parents Council, said she hopes to “enrich” her child’s education and help construct community within the University.

Supportive parents are vital in helping students achieve academic success, but I don’t feel that it is necessary for parents to create an organization or submerge themselves in the activities taking place on campus. The Parents Council oversteps the boundaries between parents and college students.

Currently within the California State University system, only five out of the 23 campuses have some form of parents council or administration on campus. These other schools have similar programs and organizations to what SF State has set up this semester.

When parents become a member of the council they are invited to attend special meetings on campus with administrators, faculty and staff. They are also encouraged to volunteer at new student orientations and participate with recruitment at other high schools and college campuses to promote SF State. Parents who sign up are asked to advocate and support the University’s legislative agenda at the state, federal and local levels and participate in different fundraising opportunities.

We, as students of SF State, are the ones that should be taking action against budget cuts and other political matters, holding fundraising opportunities, promoting our University and making an effort to welcome the new students each year.

I moved to San Francisco more than two years ago to attend SF State and I knew that it was the beginning of a lot of changes. I feel I have gained a lot of independence, self-confidence and knowledge about myself. I have been supporting myself completely by paying for my own tuition, housing and food. When I attended SF State’s new student orientation my mom attended with me and it was the only time she has ever been on campus. Since then she has continued to be emotionally supportive by listening to my meltdowns or encouraging me in difficult situations.

Parents don’t need to actively be on campus to provide students with support. When most students attend college they are striving for independence while still trying to keep a connection with their parents. Parents can offer support in other ways such as being encouraging, sending care packages and keeping the lines of communication open.

Becoming active in your son or daughter’s university  might sound like a good idea, but in the long run I don’t think those parents aren’t really helping.

I understand that the Parents Council wants to help us and be our voice, but now is the time for us to find our own.

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