The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday January 15th

Volunteer in government: Students should consider opportunities to get involved in the Chapel Hill town government

Students should take the opportunity to get involved in Chapel Hill’s town government.

As a college town, Chapel Hill has a lot to gain from a student’s perspective, and there are a number of ways anyone interested can get involved.

It’s never too early to get into local politics — a Winston-Salem State University student who won the city’s Democratic primary for City Council this year knows that well enough.

Becoming a Town Council member might not be the easiest option to start with, but that’s OK.

The council doesn’t do all the town’s work itself.

Commissions and task forces are abundant in Chapel Hill, and many have vacancies that students are eligible for.

As of Aug. 3, there were 29 vacancies among the 24 committees, partnerships and boards.

The Greenways Commission and the Sustainability Committee are just two examples of groups that help plan the future of Chapel Hill and have vacancies that students can look into.

These groups have a number of duties.

Some lend their expertise to the Town Council in the form of informed recommendations, while others have legal control over the future development of Chapel Hill.

They require time, patience, effort and, most importantly, a strong interest in the area with which they’re involved.

The only requirement in many cases is that applicants must be town residents.

But this isn’t a commitment to be taken lightly.

Reading packets and going over reports is a given, and meeting times might not line up with everyone’s class schedule.

Because students are such an important and significant part of Chapel Hill, this is an opportunity to introduce new blood, new ideas and more student-oriented viewpoints to the town’s policy creation process.

UNC-Chapel Hill students with a vested interest in the future of the town have no better opportunity than right now to make a difference.

Students make Chapel Hill the town that it is. Here’s a chance to make sure it stays that way in the future.

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