Can we overcome apathy?

Sara Petersen

The Undergraduate Student Government held its final meeting of the semester last Wednesday. Do you know what was discussed?

The daily KentNewsNet poll last Thursday asked if the newly expanded student government impacted anybody. The poll results, as of 3 p.m. Thursday, were 8 percent chose yes and 42 percent no.

The other 50 percent of the people who participated in this opinion poll chose the option, “Student Government?”

Even though only 26 people participated in the poll, half of them didn’t know what the student government is.

It’s a shame people don’t know we have a student government. Does anybody really know what the USG is and what it does?

I’m going to be honest and admit I never really paid attention. I didn’t even vote in the election last year. I attended my first USG meeting Wednesday for an assignment, and my eyes were opened.

During the meeting, an issue that was discussed was their support for five Kent City Council members. The city council wanted to lower the income tax credit for residents who work outside of Kent. It wasn’t a very popular idea, and now five council members are facing a recall election, where citizens can vote to remove them from office.

The members of the USG decided to support these city council members because they have been cooperative with the student government. Did you know that the USG is also calling on all students to support these five city council members as well? The USG speaks for the entire student body. Your voice has been lost if you disagree and feel these city council members should be recalled.

Do you now feel like you should know what the USG is and what it does? I think you should.

Remember when you got that e-mail from the Bursar’s office informing us of a new 2.9 percent charge on every credit or debit card payment, and Visa is now no longer accepted?

The USG invited a representative to their meeting on Oct. 28 to explain these changes. Also, the Bursar’s Office did not notify the student government on the new policies; it seems students aren’t the only people the USG is facing indifference from.

During a public meeting Nov. 5, a student gave some feedback to the group about the Lupe Fiasco concert. A senator was delighted to hear this student speak up and receive some sort of response for the work the USG has been doing.

One. One student has been reported to talk to the USG in any way in a month. I refuse to believe that every student on this campus agrees wholeheartedly with everything the USG does.

I encourage all of you to become more involved. You don’t have to become a director or a senator; simply attend a meeting every now and then and become up-to-date with what the leaders of our student body are saying. The meetings are open to the public and comments and requests are taken.

I believe we can defeat student apathy. I overcame it, and you can, too.

Sara Petersen is a junior public relations major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].