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LETTER: Students need to take their headphones out

On February 26, 2014

To the editor:

As I was taking a much-needed break from campaigning for elections week, I picked up a copy of The Statesman. I quickly glanced over a few articles on the first few pages when I came across the article entitled "Why I wear headphones during elections week on campus." As I read through the article, I found myself getting more and more enraged over the content of the article.

I found the content of the article deplorable. First and foremost, this type of behavior, as expressed in the title of the article, is part of the problem when it comes to student elections. Not enough students care, and many are even apathetic regarding student elections to the point where they resort to the tactic of placing earphones in their ears or faking talking on the cellphone so they don't get bothered by those who are manning the A Frames.

If these students would take a few minutes of their time to simply read up on each candidate and, more importantly, make an informed decision regarding each candidate and then place their vote, we would stop attempting to talk to them to get them to vote. This is a simple solution that is completely ignored in the aforementioned article.

Secondly, Mr. Jones states in his article, "The vast popularity contest that is student elections has been overexaggerated by those in student government to appear like an opportunity for the average student’s voice to be heard." Student elections in college are by no means a popularity contest, Mr. Jones; often times, a student will win based off his platform and the effort he puts into his campaign rather than his popularity. Though this may not always be the case, the best student leaders are those who are elected based off of merit rather than popularity.

Lastly, the statement I most disagreed with Mr. Jones on was when he stated, "The changes instituted by student government are, at best, nice things for those few in charge to put on their resumes." This is absolutely not true Mr. Jones, and this goes to again show that he did not read into the candidates’ platforms and goals. Many of us who are running have goals that can affect all students.

For example, presidential candidate and current USU/SA President Doug Fiefia has a goal to institutionalize a more cost-effective tuition model. This would have a profound impact on the lives of all students and would not simply "pad his resume." Another example is myself. One of my goals is to assist the college dean in his efforts to fundraise for the new CHaSS building. In doing so, it would not merely "pad my resume," but would have an impact in generations of Aggies to come.

Many of us, myself and Doug included, along with Matt Ditto, Casey Saxton, Leah Calder, Kade Beck and Spencer Stevens, all want to make a difference at this university. We don't want to simply fill a seat, pad our resumes or earn a scholarship. No, we want to have a lasting impact on this university and truly make a difference. That is why we are running for positions within the Utah State University Student Association.

Nickoles Clason

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