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There are precious few times that a student can walk into a room and talk to President Rodin, Provost Barchi and leaders from the faculty, staff and graduate and undergraduate student governments. As the leaders of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly and the Undergraduate Assembly -- which together represent the approximately 20,000 students on campus -- we urge you to attend and seize this opportunity to speak out. Students are allowed to talk for up to three minutes, and are encouraged to prepare their remarks in advance. You must provide the Office of the University Secretary (898-7005) with the topic of your remarks by no later than 5 p.m. tomorrow to secure a place on the formal agenda. In addition, if time remains at the conclusion of the forum, Council will take direct questions from the audience. It is important to take full advantage of this opportunity. Your remarks should relate to campus-wide issues such as financial aid, campus pluralism, safety, recreational facilities, community relations and the like. If your landlord has not fixed your toilet in three weeks or you want paper towels in Quad bathrooms, this is not the proper venue for airing these grievances. And this open forum is not a panacea -- the objective of this forum is not to solve problems on the spot. It is to provide University Council members with knowledge of student concerns from the mouths of the students themselves. On the other hand, rest assured that your concerns will be taken seriously. The points you raise are likely to be referred to the appropriate Council committee. And GAPSA and the UA will be sure to contact you individually so that we can properly follow through on your concerns with the administration. You may be intimidated at the thought of giving a speech in front of University Council. You shouldn't be. Think of it this way: Everything you say will be on the record. There is no room for cover-up. As long as you follow procedure, this will be your opportunity to throw a curveball at the powers that be. GAPSA and the UA are working to build bridges with each other and facilitate more meaningful interaction between the student body and the administration. Our joint appeal for student involvement in this open forum is an example of that collaborative effort, which also includes working together on issues such as off-campus living, SEPTA, allocation of student space and the creation of cheaper retail and food options on or near campus. This open forum is your time to give thoughtful and honest input as to how our University can function better. Without your participation, our voice as your elected representatives is not complete.

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