Students eligible and encouraged to run for City Council

From water flowing through a tap to a well-lit street at night, the Carbondale City Council has a constant effect on student life at SIU.

With information and petition forms now available in the City Clerk’s Office, Carbondale will hold an election in April to select three City Council Members for four-year terms.

“Students are eligible and encouraged to run,” Mayor Joel Fritzler said.

Seats occupied by council members Chris Wissmann, Corene McDaniel and Lee Fronabarger will be up for grabs this spring. However, the three have yet to disclose their plans for re-election.

Though no traditional students are represented in the council, the race has only just begun.

With this in mind, students across campus have mixed feelings about whether they would run for City Council. Though some were unsure the job’s exact requirements, most had an opinion.


Von’dragas Smalley

Von’dragas Smalley, a senior from Chicago studying business and English

“I feel like the types of responsibilities your going to have as a city council member wouldn’t fit well with a full-time class schedule. It all boils down to maturity and a full time student with a job and loans to pay back isn’t going to have time to run for city council, therefore your only going to get the voice of a over-privileged or immature student whom I don’t think could properly represent the student body.”

Derek Letellier

Derek Letellier, a senior from Buffalo Grove studying journalism

“Representation of anyone in academia at SIU is important because it’s such a big part of the town. Though one difficulty I see with that comes from most SIU students not being from Carbondale. Maybe they wouldn’t feel as strongly about issues around town as the people who live here year round, but I think a full-time student on the council would represent an interesting perspective.”

Carolina Bonilla

Carolina Bonilla, a senior from Thompsonville studying radio and television

“I think it’s a great idea to have students involved. Maybe not every student is up for the job, but I think it’s important that we have a voice and are able to talk about the things that concern us. What happens in Carbondale definitely has an effect on us; in our student lives and also in our daily lives because we all have a life outside school.”

Rushud Omar

Rushud Omar, a sophomore from Saudi Arabia studying mechanical engineering

“Parking concerns me, both on campus and around town. I’m never worried about getting towed on campus, but around town it seems like their out to get you. If there was a student like me on the city council I might be able to get proper representation, but I just don’t see that happening. I hardly have time for my major let alone a position on the city council.”

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About Caleb Motsinger

Caleb Motsinger can be reached at or 536-3311 ext. 269.

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