1. to give the authority or power to do something
2. a thoroughfare running at right angles to streets laid out in a city laid out on a grid pattern
3. arouse or inflame (an emotion or situation)
On your mark. Get set. And, we’re done. That was exciting. Glad that’s over. Now, back to the daily grind.
You may have noticed some extra buzz and excitement around campus this week. Apparently, there was an election. Most of you rocked the vote by abstaining, which may be what your parents taught you about most collegiate activities. The debate went down, and then you left town. This probably isn’t your first reminder that someone won the popularity contest. It may very well be the last one though.
Last year there was an election. It happens every year. It’s sure to happen next year too. Other than these short-lived events, I’m not sure I remember hearing much about the elected representatives during their time in office. I’m sure they were doing important things, right?
They have a budget to spend and meetings to attend. How much and how often aren’t really on my mind, but the results of the two should be on the forefront. If I remember right, the candidates last year wanted to enhance the multicultural and diversity on campus in various events. I think I missed these moments where promises were fulfilled. There were some other goals, and I’m sure they were good, though I doubt I would have noticed if they were glossed over and forgotten.
The student representatives you chose have tasks and assignments, but if you don’t hear from them, don’t be surprised. They’re an underground force that plan and plot, and call and cajole the who’s who and the what’s what so that we can have the experiences college is known for. In other words, you get to dance and listen to guest speakers. This is the limitation of my knowledge of student government.
Each one of us has a senator for our respective college, and they are interested in our success. We may not know it, but they defend our budget from being pilfered and even try to increase our funding in various UVU organizations. In some departments they even procure scholarships. If you are a benefit of one of these be sure to thank them, if you can find them, if you have any idea who they are. I don’t know who my senator is. I’ve never gotten a letter or email from him/her.
Clubs and sporting events must benefit from the election process, international students as well as distance students. Student activities surely must have some sort of impact in either a negative or positive way. Knowing who will do what based on what they do or don’t say doesn’t give me any sense of expectation and other than their word; I wonder what sense of obligation they have. Effective leadership is an engaging presence in the community and a representative power. I’m not sure I’ll see any of these newly-elected class officers around campus. I didn’t see any this year.
I don’t want you to think I don’t care, because I do, just not as much as I probably should. I want the future leaders of tomorrow to be learning how to govern with others today in an environment that is suitable to their abilities. So maybe this is my siren of warning. Maybe this is your call to action. Maybe we need to be a bigger part of the process. Its time we made our vote count. For too long we’ve simply been a counted vote.