Members of Connecticut College's student government and newspaper have responded to complaints regarding student participation in a Sept. 18 referendum on New London's budget and tax rate.
The College Voice, the student newspaper, published an article on the matter as well as an editorial in its Sunday issue. According to the newspaper, Mayor Daryl Finizio visited the campus five days before the vote to encourage students to register and support the measures. The Connecticut College Dems said that 150 students voted in the referendum, which saw both the budget and tax rate defeated.
Finizio's presentation brought some complaints by New London residents that students were being told to support the budget without hearing from opponents of the budget and tax rate. Taylor Gould, a senior and president of the Student Government Association, said the organization did not take a stance on the issue but rather made it possible for students who wanted to participate to do so and receive transportation to the polls.
Meredith Boyle, editor-in-chief of The College Voice, said in an opinion piece that student support of the referendum questions could be "unethical" since students and the college would not be directly affected by the tax increase. Boyle also said there should be an effort to increase interaction between New London and Connecticut College, citing a community service outing added to freshman orientation as an example.
"Getting involved in New London shouldn’t just be about voting in a referendum when the mayor asks us to, but involvement should be a habit integrated into the everyday life and culture of Connecticut College," Boyle concludes.