Opinion: What is important for students?

Marvin Logan is a senior Pan-African Studies major. Contact him at mlogan6@kent.edu.

Marvin Logan is a senior Pan-African Studies major. Contact him at [email protected]

Marvin Logan

What matters to you? That is the question. It comes up often in conversations when dealing with people who interact with or target college students. Sometimes, it seems that what should be important is never quite at the top of the list. Based on observation, I have a few points to propose and some questions to ask.

Social media seems to always be near the top of the list. Ask yourself what is the first thing you do after you hit your alarm and wipe the crust from you eyes? I’d bet that most people check their text messages and missed calls. Then, head straight for their app of choice to check on what the latest happenings are and how people like what they’ve shared.  Social media can have many uses. Sharing what you do every day, sharing what goes on around the world or connecting with someone far way. Some people use it for social advocacy.

Social life has got to be in there somewhere for college students, right? Things like game nights, parties, bars, movies, etc. are all things people can enjoy. Maybe something like FlashFest perhaps? Twitter exploded this week with the announcement of the artists for 2015. Some people were super excited. Others were disappointed.  But people certainly get excited for programming on campus.

Why am I naming off random things that people find important? I can certainly name some things that are far less important. Voting. The most basic practice of civic duty is something widely ignored by college students. Somewhere along the way, we have been convinced that casting our thought into the magic ballot box isn’t important. Sexual assault and awareness campaigns also don’t get enough love from us. The amount of people who get involved compared to those that don’t is probably the more disheartening thing. Not too many people care about tuition prices either.

Throughout the year, these are all things that student leaders have either tried to carry the torch for or fumbled it all together. However, our constituents haven’t quite followed as passionately. I could just be rambling, but these things matter to me. I hope they matter to you to. You never know the impact you could have. Let me be clear, it is easy to stand and point fingers when your hands are empty. You shouldn’t say you don’t like the laws that govern you or the services your taxes pay for, when you don’t vote. You shouldn’t say you care about people and not do what you can to make sure they’re taken care of.  You shouldn’t say you should be a valued college student and college should be accessible, but don’t stand to be counted in the eyes of lawmakers. Just do all you can, practice integrity, and be accountable. Always challenge yourselves and each other.