is a neat little website that does one simple thing: It lets you ask people questions and read their answers. The questions are anonymous — unless you choose to identify yourself while asking — and they stay private until an answer is submitted.

I set up a account a few weeks ago, and I’ll be posting the questions and answers here on an occasional basis. If you’ve got something you’d like to ask, go right ahead.

If you had to name just one issue as the most important for students, what would it be?

Huh. Tough question. I don’t know that I can speak coherently on what issue IS most important to students, and I don’t know that it’s my place to speak on what issue SHOULD BE most important to students, but I’ll give it a whirl.

Obviously the financial crisis in higher ed is a huge issue right now. That’s clearly at the top of the agenda on a lot of campuses. And what’s particularly interesting there is how many different approaches students are taking to addressing the crisis, both in terms of organizing strategies and tactics and in terms of what they see as the overall goals. That’s the mark of a really vibrant movement, I think — that students coming from radically different perspectives somehow see themselves as part of the same big project.

I should note, too, that the present crisis in public higher education is really two crises — the acute crisis of states slashing support and hiking tuition because of the recession, and the long-term crisis of the erosion of society’s commitment to public higher education as a public good. Observers are making a big mistake, I think, if they interpret the current wave of student organizing solely as a reaction to short-term complaints.

There’s a lot more to say about the underlying issue of students’ role in the university, but this answer has turned out better than I thought it would, so I’ll quit while I’m ahead.