Opinion: Get active


Marvin Logan is a senior Pan-African studies major and a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]

Marvin Logan

In the spirit of the political season, I wanted to weigh in on college students being politically engaged. This year’s election is a midterm election. Midterm elections are held in cycles that run during the middle of a four-year presidential term. Many state-level election seats are voted on during these elections. According to the census, Less than half of registered voters vote during midterm elections, and less than half of those who vote are college-aged students. However, I’d like to take a different approach to cover the issue.

Midterm elections are a good opportunity for first voters to get involved in the process of exercising his or her greatest right of being an American citizen. Midterm elections bring a less-chaotic voting experience because there are shorter voting lines, and there is less of an inundation with campaign ads that get lost in a presidential election.

Local elections get to the root of issues and give voters the greatest opportunity to have a high impact either. That doesn’t mean that national elections don’t have high impact, but local politicians make the bevy of changes you can see directly around you. State-level politics are also exciting because there is far less red tape and bureaucracy than at the federal level.

In this upcoming election season, as a college student leader, I think our priority lies in our action after the election. What is the biggest issue that college students face on paper? Affordability. How can we get rid of our debt and how can we keep from going farther into debt? Ohio is one of the worst states in the U.S. in terms of state funding and the burden on families. The actions students and their leaders take will really make all the difference from January to June when all the edits to the state budget are made.

This past week student leaders on our campus gathered to discuss what issues they face most for students. We were even joined by student government leaders from our neighbors at the University of Akron. What would be most amazing is if student leaders on campus focus on the difference they can make on this one issue. What would be even more incredible is if student leaders across the state could continue to team up and demand a change in Columbus to give students a chance for a brighter future and a more competitive Ohio. We have an opportunity to engage young people in something they can directly make a difference for. We will make the greatest impact if our leaders don’t just stand for us, but if all students rise and stand for each other. This is our time. These are our lives. You only get one shot. Do your duty and make it count.