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OUR VIEW: Be sure to stop by the voting booth today

An editorial opinion

Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 00:02

If we surveyed 100 students about which week of the school year generally gets to worst reputation, most would assume a widespread response along the tune of finals week.

While we see the argument there, it seems much more evident that elections week carries a much more critical response, and that is putting it nicely.

It’s not that the core elements of the week itself don’t warrant a complaint from time to time. It isn’t always the most enjoyable thing to be pit-stopped on nearly every walkway on campus and be confronted about candidate platforms, free shirts, fliers and likewise drowning in piles of posters promoting debates and “Aggies Vote” insignias until one closes their eyes in fear and all they see is red, white and blue check marks.

With that all in mind, perhaps it is more important to consider the emphasis those eventful frustrations overlooks the sincere importance of the week as a whole. We at The Utah Statesman believe it all comes full circle with a simple change in perspective.

Consider, for a moment, that many students fresh from high school are now experiencing a large jump in just how vital our student government system is. If you are still looking on first glance, it is a much larger gap than you may realize.

Where your high school student body officers planned prom and canned food drives to support the local food bank, the USU/SA Executive Council coordinates on plans policies and decisions that immediately affect each student. We’re talking student fees, scheduling, full-scale events, advocacy and set the overall emotional environment for the campus as a whole. We’ve moved on from the world of the popularity contest and into the world of the 20,000-plus person job interview.

To sum that up, your convenience, options and wallet all ride on who gets elected and which decisions they make. If that doesn’t motivate to want to know who these individuals pontificating next to large wooden A-frames are, you honestly should.

If you still feel uneasy about the whole thing, consider for a moment what these candidates have to do to get themselves in the minds of the students. The work they go to in an effort to become a representative of the students includes months of time to create advertising, organize campaign staffs, meticulously schedule events and promotions, all in hopes they have done enough for each student to individually look up their specific name and rend support on a ballot. If you find yourself annoyed by the few moments they stop you on a sidewalk, imagine the frustration of being treated with such annoyance all day in the same spot while trying to capitalize on months of hard work.

Above all else, while the week’s events can come off inconvenient, the voting process itself couldn’t be farther from it. Seldom in your voting life will the process ever be easier than typing in your address box and clicking a few boxes. No registrations, paper ballots or signs; it’s as simple as a few multiple choice practices from the comfort of your own home; or, to be blunt, if you have time to head to Buzzfeed and floor Facebook news feeds with quiz results depicting what “Hunger Games” character you are, you have more than enough time to vote for actual people who actually matter to your time at USU.

The Statesman supports and encourages participation in Elections Week and hopes you find the time and effort in you to take part in elections and care about it. Meet candidates, prioritize your values, head to and cast your vote. A simple change in perspective could change everything about the rest of your experience at USU.  

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