USG election as important as any other

The election begins a week from today.

No, not that one.

This election hits a little closer to home.

Voting for the senators and directors of next year’s Undergraduate Student Government begins a week from today on March 10 and 11 on Flashline.

Maybe it doesn’t sound so exciting after weeks — months — of media coverage surrounding the presidential primaries taking place tomorrow in our state. Maybe most of your waking attention has gone to politics at the national level, your focus on the big changes facing our country in the upcoming months. And that’s important.

Maybe you’re not big on politics at all. Maybe you’re looking forward to November so you can see a commercial that doesn’t end in “… and I support this message.” And that’s OK, too.

Wherever you typically stand in the political spectrum, local politics matters. Local politicians are the ones who are most familiar with the area and the people they represent. They’re the most in touch with the community, and the ones who have the most control over events in their constituents’ daily lives. They’re also the ones who are easiest for community members to reach and to hold responsible for their actions. The decisions they make are the decisions most readily witnessed in the community.

This is just as true on the Kent State campus.

The Undergraduate Student Senate became the Undergraduate Student Government this year and, with that change, will acquire a slew of new senators and directors to better represent and, hopefully, better serve the student body.

But there are more than 2,500 students in the College of Business Administration, almost 2,000 in the College of Communications and Information and about 4,000 in the College of Arts and Sciences. There’s only one senator who will represent each one of those colleges.

That’s a big responsibility.

Some of the students running for those positions are unopposed. Some don’t even have candidates.

That’s where you come into play.

Voting is important, but at this point, it may be even more important to get to know these candidates. USG is sponsoring two election forums this week in the Rathskeller. The first one, at 6 p.m. tonight, hosts the college senator candidates. The one for the director positions will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Take an interest in the students who serve as the liaison between you and the faculty, between you and the administration, between you and the state. For many of these groups, their faces are your faces. If nothing else, get to know the senator who represents your college. That person will be considered the “student voice” of your program, especially for the larger colleges where it may be difficult for deans and directors to get to know the student body.

The directors are in charge of a lot of the events that take place on campus. They help administrators know what’s on the collective mind of the student body — or at least they try.

If you are attending Kent State next year, take an hour out of your week and go hear these students speak. Check out what is important to them, and let them know what is important to you. And hey — you get a free meal out of it, too. What have you got to lose?

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.