It’s Election Day again, at least for Associated Students here at CSUN. Time for the small population of students who actually get around to voting to decide which senators will represent which colleges and which presidential hopeful will win the president’s chair.
This semester I can’t help but think of the number of articles I’ve read about clubs asking for money for a trip, event or awareness day and A.S.’s struggle to balance helping the students and not spending all their money. And recently, I’ve heard reports that A.S. may actually financially be on the brink of being in the red and are close to over-spending their budget for the rest of the semester. I hope that’s not true because that fiscal irresponsibility associated with the group supposed to represent me as a student has over-spent their budget scares me.
So, what’s a student to do when faced with these dilemmas? The answer is to vote. Maybe you’re unhappy with the fact your club didn’t receive nearly enough funding, such as the Public Relations Student Society of America being recommended funding of only $500 when the originally requested $6,300 as reported on March 28. Maybe your graduation committee is scrambling to fund-raise at the last minute because it was allocated less money than you thought. Whatever the reason, if you’re dissatisfied with the current way A.S. is being run, go vote. If you think Adam Salgado is doing a fabulous job, or Dina Cervantes is the wave of the future, go vote and give them a chance to prove you right.
And hey, there’s no better time to vote than now at the A.S. elections. There are supposedly food giveaways going on for the first voters and I believe everyone who votes is entered to win an iPod Shuffle. Those are some sweet perks for doing your “civic duty.” I wish the national presidential elections would offer some rewards so maybe more people would vote in that.
It’s also kind of sad to think that A.S. has to offer giveaways and prizes to entice people to vote, but then again it’s not surprising considering the overwhelming student apathy at CSUN. But hey, that’s a part of the student body, for good or bad.
Of course, it’s unrealistic to expect an upheaval of student opinion that will rush the polling place in fervor to vote. I personally think it’s unrealistic to expect anyone who doesn’t already care about the A.S. elections to start caring now. I’ll admit that during my first semesters here, I didn’t bother voting. The first time I did was when a presidential hopeful bullied me over to a polling place. It’s not a crime to not want to vote if you know nothing about the candidates or have no interest in on campus activities because you commute on campus and commute right back off after class. It’s not even a crime to just be too lazy to vote, but then again, after that, there’s really no right to criticize when no effort was made to put your opinion on the record. There are tons of reasons that we as students will come up with not to vote, and I’m certainly not the person to criticize any of them because I’ve probably used them all too.
But if you have an opinion about A.S., don’t let it go to waste. Vote, and at least when your club is denied money next semester, you can raise your hands and say, “That’s not who I voted for.”