It is once again election season, and with that come changes to UConn’s role in relation to the Mansfield Town Council. Two years ago, the town elected recent UConn graduate and the former president of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Mark Sargent to the town council. This year, as reported in the Daily Campus, two UConn students are running for seats on the Mansfield Town Council in order to represent the 50 percent of Mansfield residents who are not permanent residents, a.k.a. the student body.
The two students running, Haley Hinton and Colin Mortimer, are members of the USG University Town Relations Committee. The two believe that while UConn and Mansfield residents have many differences, they also have many similarities. Hinton and Mortimer feel they can bring a student voice to a body that has primarily served permanent Mansfield residents and help bridge the gap between students and community members.
At a time when relations between Mansfield and UConn are at an all-time low, it’s good to see there are still those out there who want to do good by both parties. While both the town of Mansfield and UConn administrators have said they want to do what’s best for UConn students, the only people who really know what’s best for UConn students are the students themselves.
Mortimer and Hinton have already started to address the biggest obstacle between UConn and Mansfield residents; the new zoning laws. The two seem to recognize that, while students should have the right to gather and party, students don’t always make for the best neighbors. Their search for a solution that works for both sides is a credit to their desire to serve all of Mansfield
UConn students make up 50 percent of the Mansfield population. While most students are not permanent, tax-paying residents, they do spend at least four years of their life here. Mansfield is their home during that time and UConn is a part of that community. Hinton and Mortimer are getting fully involved with that community and they should be fully applauded for their efforts. The entire UConn-Mansfield community would benefit if they are voted to serve on the Mansfield Town Council.