'Listen Up Legislators' futile, but progressive
The Student Government Association’s attempt to get students more involved in local politics by hosting “Listen Up Legislators” day was a noble effort but will ultimately prove futile in posting results.
Aside from their own agendas, politicians serve the needs of their constituents, primarily those who elected them into office. Since the voting perentage of college-aged students is ever decreasing, politicans have no motivation to hear our pleas. We’ve had little sway in the electoral process for quite some time.
Students calling and writing their local legislators one day a year is nothing more than an annoynance. For real results, a more active and consistent effort is needed.
The leaders of the SGA have a responsibility to keep students informed of political decision-making at the local, state and national levels. They need to promote involvement and awareness every day of every year, not just stage an appearance of getting students involved.
Whether it be posting flyers, sending mass e-mails, or handing out pamphlets outside the Student Activities Center, the SGA needs to bridge the gap between politicians and the student body. They need to let students know what proposals are floating around the Senate floor and how the college-aged demographic will be affected.
Like all issues, this one is also two-sided. Students need to be more receptive and inform the SGA of their opinions.
During a meeting with SGA Executive Vice President Nathan Haney, he said a personal goal at the beginning of the semester was to “open the networking chain between politicians and students.” He admitted, however, that more work still needs to be done.
The leaders of the SGA have political connections not available to the average student. Gov. Ernie Fletcher and Mayor Jerry Abramson are just a few politicians that SGA members can actually meet with. During these meetings, the SGA has the ability, and responsibility, to push student views and concerns.
To have an impact one key factor must be added – student involvement. Until students speak out on election day politicians will continue to have a reason not to listen. If we don’t have an impact on their careers, our complaints will continue to fall on deaf ears.