Student Council renews SpeakUpUVa initiative

Online forum has proved effective, if at times under-acknowleged


Student Council will renew its SpeakUpUVa initiative in hopes of creating an easier and more user-friendly outlet for students to voice concerns.

Through the online forum, all University students have the opportunity to express opinions, address issues and comment on other students’ ideas, voting for those they feel are most relevant.

Giving students a chance to express their ideas and opinions is an important part of Council, Representative Body Chair Abraham Axler said.

“No problem is too big or too small,” said Axler, a second-year College student. “Really, what we want people to post on there is anything that’s concerning. The mission of Student Council is your voice, our vision. What we’re trying to do is offer people opportunities to make their voice heard.”

Though all Council meetings are open to the entire student body, Council members recognize this may not ensure every voice is heard.

“I think it’s a very high bar to have people walk into a room with 50 strangers and say their idea,” Axler said. “The opportunity that SpeakUpUVa offers is to allow people to instantaneously and at their convenience voice their concern and be assured that Student Council will listen to it.”

For Council, a large problem remains that many students are unfamiliar with these programs and initiatives.

Neither third-year College student Gabriella Monteverde nor second-year College student Zachary Ackerman were aware SpeakUpUVa was a tool for reaching out to Student Council.

“It sounds like it would be a very good way to get voices heard, if people knew the resource existed,” Monteverde said.

Ackerman agreed SpeakOutUVa is an important tool the student body should recognize.

“I like that students have the ability [to vocalize] their thoughts and opinions,” Ackerman said. “I hope that [ Council] looks through it and picks out the good ideas, possibly implementing [those] that are put on the forum.”

Though Axler said all ideas are taken seriously, it is not always possible for each one to be carried out.

“We need to get the greatest amount of benefit for our dollar,” he said. “Just to impact the most students possible.”

SpeakUpUVa can be accessed online at

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