We college students are not the best at keeping up with politics and news. There are those political junkies out there, but many of us only have vague notions of what is moving and shaking in the world, gleaned from passing glances at homepages and tweets.
This is perfectly excusable. Between all the demands of college life – class, homework, work, relationships, not to mention just kicking back and having fun – it might be a little unreasonable to expect students to spend the time to sit down with a newspaper or magazine. I’m sure most people care about what is happening in the world and nation, but given the choice between cramming for last week’s midterms and reading up on the doings of Congress who can say that they would have taken the latter? With campus election season starting to kick off this brings up a pertinent question. If we can barely set aside any time to follow national politics then should CSU students pay any attention to ASCSU?
For those of you who answered “no” to that question, the Associated Students of Colorado State University is your student government. ASCSU does countless tasks that the average student takes for granted or fails to even notice. They represent student interests in the state and city governments, fighting to ensure that CSU remains an affordable college option. If you ever needed RamRide or had fun at a pre-game tailgate you can thank ASCSU. If you want to have online access to old tests to help you study, ASCSU is making that happen for the future.
These are just a few of the services that this organization provides to give you the best college experience possible. There is no reason why all of the decisions that affect our lives must be made by old guys with beards and Ph.Ds (sorry, Dr. Frank). Sometimes the only people that can fully understand the trials of everyday college life are those who themselves face the same problems. ASCSU is a voice for college students, by college students.
So we’ve established that ASCSU is a beneficial organization to have around. Now everyone can say “thank you” and never pay attention to them again. Student government is for “them” to take care of, not us average students.
Hold on. I’m afraid that it doesn’t work like that. The people who fill the ASCSU positions – the President, Senators, and the like – are not somehow separate from the student body. They are you. It is only through the involvement of students that this organization exists. True, ASCSU will not suddenly disappear if you, dear reader, do not personally get involved. But if nobody does, it most certainly will. If we want to continue to have a united voice on this campus in the decisions that directly affect us, CSU students will have to continue to find the time and energy to take leadership roles.
You do not have to actually run for anything or join ASCSU to get involved. After all, not everyone grows up to be president. But that’s what democracy is here for. Both here in our campus elections and in wider elections throughout the state and nation, voting is the backbone of the democratic process. Through voting we establish a common voice that is louder than that of any individual. I could walk down to the plaza and talk about how I wanted, for instance, to petition the state government to increase college funding. Likely no one would pay me that much attention. But if many students who felt the same way elected representatives to ASCSU to champion their cause, then real change might be in sight. The best way that we have to express our desires and opinions is through strength of numbers. ASCSU is the loudspeaker through which our voice is heard.
Involvement in our student government has another benefit. Given our technological prowess – we can do any assignment or research project without even changing out of pajamas – it is far too easy to become isolated. Not necessary from friends and family, but from the sense of belonging to a larger community of students. Becoming involved in ASCSU, even if it’s just voting, is a way of uniting our common goals and needs.
You may have noticed all the campaigns setting up tables and posters around campus. Talk to them, see what they’re for and what they’re against. The elections will be held from April 7 to April 9. Make yourselves heard and go vote.
Aaron Kolb has faith that ASCSU does great things, and needs our support. Letters can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even though for a lot of us national politics doesn’t hone interest, pay attention to ASCSU.
If you’ve ever needed RamRide or have ridden the “drunk bus”, think of our student government.
Support the brave people that are willing to be the loudspeaker for your campus voice.