Opinion: Vote for USG and make a difference

Elaina Sauber

Elaina Sauber

Elaina Sauber is a sophomore English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

The candidates for this year’s presidential election have already begun campaigning, trying to win over the trust of as many Americans as possible.

On a smaller scale, however, there is another important election quickly approaching: the elections for Undergraduate Student Government.

There’s no need to register to vote; any Kent State student is not only eligible but also highly encouraged to vote. Although it sometimes seems that students don’t care about things such as USG, I cannot stress enough the importance of participating in the election on March 6.

This is one of the few opportunities that Kent State students have to make their voices heard, and it is incredibly empowering to first understand the responsibilities and duties of USG before voting.

USG is split into two categories: the directors and the senators. The directors include the positions of executive director, student involvement, programming, academic affairs and governmental affairs, to name a few.

In addition, there is one senator representing each college in USG. They are ultimately responsible for presenting the student input for that particular college.

According to the USG Charter, the main responsibilities of USG are to “provide for the common betterment and general welfare of the undergraduate student body,” and “ensure meaningful student participation in total university governance.”

Students can also voice their ideas or concerns during the “Public Contributions” sections of USG meetings or during any of the directors’ office hours.

Last year, USG voted in support of a $15 fee for all students to support the College of the Arts. This would make all campus arts events free and raise around $660,000 every year for the College of the Arts.

This is just one example of how USG has moved to make positive changes on campus based on student opinion. In addition, USG is responsible for a $150,000 allocations fund, which is provided for other student organizations on campus that need help paying for conferences and group-sponsored events.

It is our responsibility as students to vote for the most qualified candidates of USG. If everyone takes the time to vote for the candidates that will best represent us, we may begin to see that it is not the administration, but the students, who can improve Kent State.

Although President Lefton, the Provost and the Board of Trustees are the ultimate governing powers, it seems that USG is the only organization on campus that has the well-being and growth of students as its highest priority, instead of being preoccupied with maximizing profits at any cost.

The least we can do is vote for the best candidates for the job.