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Letter: No voice for students in Cedar debate
To the editor:
After Wednesday’s extenuated council meeting (regarding Cedar Avenue property), while driving home I felt hopeless. So hopeless in fact that it almost brought me to tears.
The council decision was deferred to April 18 when the final decision will be made.
I was one of few young persons at the hearing and I now realize why. The public’s opinion doesn’t matter and I believe the youth of today know this. There is a lack of awareness throughout campuses of city plans, more so an unappreciated value of student body opinions and there are no persons who will actually represent that student body.
What has the city done that has effectively made our student body aware? In my past two years of studies at Okanagan College, never have I heard about any city plans or different proposals. This goes back to high school as well. What would make a student body care?
Unfortunately the city hasn’t answered this question, as I have not seen, as a high school student and an Okanagan College marketing student, any signs of following the growing trends of social media and technologies to make our future generations informed.
Another question presented: Does the city care about the values and thoughts of student bodies? Why is it that the city doesn’t come to the campus and present something that directly affects the school?
Of the students that I did talk to, they had no idea of the proposed waterfront building that would replace potential park land. These people I talked to felt that it was a mistake on the city’s part and should embrace the idea of a large open space.
But with those who I spoke to, and though they agreed that there should be park on the waterfront since the city owns it, they still felt that the city does what it wants, how would (a student) have a say?
This attitude is formed because the youth of Kelowna feel under-valued and voiceless. If the city won’t listen to its seasoned citizens, why would the city listen to new ones?
A lack of proper representation of the student bodies of the Kelowna region is visible. Not once has a city representative come to the campus to gather opinions for these past two years.
What do youth expect Kelowna to have for its future? Perhaps that forward thinking is something the city should truly value—fresh young ideas that can help Kelowna grow from the youth of today and become citizens of tomorrow who will want to continue to live in Kelowna.
I truly hope that the city council refuses this proposal and sees that the proposed development is a substantially large mistake.
I want to remind council that if this were to be passed, it would make South Pandosy less desirable and personally encourage me to move to a more accommodating neighbourhoods. It is sad that one would have to consider moving away from their hometown all because the city is only ever taking steps backward.
It will be my goal to inform student bodies of Kelowna of this atrocity that we call the city of Kelowna. You will see more from us.