Some of the most significant work at Goshen College often goes unnoticed.

Well groomed shrubs, mowed lawns and snowless sidewalks are perhaps some of the most noticeable (and this winter, helpful) elements of campus, but the work that goes into making that happen usually does not receive the appreciation it deserves.

Grounds crew workers have come to work twenty days in a row due to heavy snow fall, according to the article published on the front page of this week’s issue. The clear sidewalks I walk on everyday are thanks their hard work.

To the grounds crew on behalf of The Record, thank you for what you do. Your work keeps our campus beautiful; without you, we would be a snowy mess this winter. Everything you contribute to the GC community is incredibly significant and deeply appreciated.

Another group of people making contributions to GC, the Board of Directors, was on campus this weekend.

The Board is charged with making guiding decisions for the future of the institution.

After the president’s council announced it would allow the athletic department to play the national anthem at sporting events in January 2010, the Board of Directors suggested college leaders should “create opportunities for thoughtful and prayerful discernment in ongoing structured dialogue,” in February 2010, according to a GC press release.

In other words, these people hold a lot of sway. Some student activists have caught on.

Singing students gathered in front of the board members at the end of chapel last Friday, wearing purple to show support for changing a college hiring policy that restricts people in same-sex relationships from becoming employees.

According to reporting published in this week’s issue, the board discussed the policies last weekend while they were on campus and decided not to make any statements, choosing to revisit the topic at their next meeting in June.

Despite a statement from the board on the topic, student advocacy around hiring policies was noticed. According this week’s article covering the board meetings, Jim Brenneman, president, said the board “expressed special gratitude” for those student voices.

The board is listening, so speak up, Goshen.

Student voices are energetic and passionate – that’s what makes them so effective. Here at GC, I have heard students speak about issues that affect people. Some speak up for racial reconciliation, others for environmental justice and others for equality.

These are the voices that catalyze progress and can make a difference.

Speak up with your story, and spend time listening to the stories of others. Speak up for the voices that are soft, but have plenty to say. Speak up for the people who have been silenced.

(And while you’re at it, speak up to a grounds crew worker with a “thank you” for the role they play on our campus.)