Letter to the editor

I began my morning reading the news online, as I do every morning. ‘ I came across the Gen. Powell endorsement and nodded in approval, when it struck me…today, October 20th is the last day to register to vote. ‘ I Googled my inquiry just to be sure and my suspicion was confirmed.

I slipped on some clothes and slippers to walk over to the post office on Reseda and Plummer. ‘ When I go inside, I see one of the important staff members, judging by her attire, rearranging a countertop where postage details are filled out. ‘ I ask where the Voter Registration packets are and she points to an empty holder on the counter.

‘You’re out?’

‘It looks like it…someone came and took all of them.’

‘You ARE aware today is the last day to register to vote, correct?’

‘I thought that was last week?’

‘No, its today. ‘ Will you be getting any more later today?’

‘We hadn’t planned on it. ‘ Sorry.’

Are you kidding me? ‘ Is this the Twilight Zone? ‘ I went home fuming. ‘ My next move was to see if the Associated Students had made any moves on the issue. ‘ I am sure everyone has seen the third party ballot petition volunteers on campus. ‘ I personally find them overbearing, but they are doing something necessary.

I decided to turn to my government. ‘ That is, the Associated Students government. ‘ I went to the website for the number and got through to someone. ‘ I let them know about today being the registration deadline and there should be a table out to register students. ‘ She said she didn’t make the decisions. ‘ In other words, it wasn’t her problem. ‘

I asked to speak to someone who could make the decision. She put me through to the Vice President…but I got a voice mail. ‘ I gave a piece of my mind and left my name and phone number. I called back to let it be know I left the voice mail and the same operator told me the VP was in the office. ‘ She put the VP on the phone and I repeated the same thing I said to the postal worker and the operator. ‘ I was then given a long spiel about how the AS government is short staffed at the moment, but they will take a table out later today. I asked her when and she repeated they were short staffed, but later today. ‘

I responded that the registrations have to be postmarked today…so when was she gonna get the table out? ‘ She said about 2 or 3 p.m. I responded, saying the post office closes at 4 p.m. I was then told students can come to the Associated Students Office next to the pub to register to vote and they will take them to the office. Did she have a script? ‘ I reminded her that it wasn’t in the Associated Students’ interest to get students registered to vote because if it was and they planned for today, they would have enough students available to set a table out next to the library and register students. She apologized and once again urged me to come to the office.

So basically what does this tell me? Well, I believe third party green initiative and proposition volunteers care more about getting students registered to vote in this year’s election than our own student government. Maybe not directly, but did it not occur to them that this was part of the responsibility when these so-called ‘leaders’ were voted into Student Government? They are the elected leaders and representatives of the student interests on CSUN campus and I feel they dropped the ball. The U.S. Election of 2008 is an issue that affects the college student more so than any other time since the Civil Rights Movement. Guess who started that movement? STUDENTS! One would think that if the elected officials of CSUN were chosen by the students, they could show their appreciation by getting us involved in a political process that is FAR more important than their role here on campus. I was greatly disappointed by the lack of representation and though I was invited by the VP to share my complaint with the Senate at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, which I will be doing, what will come out of this other than an apology, a shrug and vaporizing of the issue for the next 4 years? If these people who have been selected as leaders call themselves such, their actions should portray leadership. Otherwise we are victims to their lip service used to coax a vote, as they now use their newfound positions of untapped influence to boost their resumes upon graduation. If they are our leaders of tomorrow, I challenge their judgment and question if they are not taking cues from the nation’s current administration when it comes to exercise of service to the people.

So what am I doing in the meantime? ‘ Well, I have texted my friends and family to remind them to register by today. ‘ I will go to the office and get the form and try to make it to the post office before 4 p.m. ‘ I am still insulted that there is a position in the Associated Student government called ‘Elections Manager’ though…

Dwayne Golstein, environmental and occupational health, senior