• The Official Website of the Exponent, Wisconsin's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper May 17, 2013

Student voters drive governance

Matthew Ahasay, Opinions Editor

Voting is the heart of a democratic system of governance.  It allows the people to choose for themselves who will lead, shape and represent them.  Whether school, local, state or federal, an American’s right to vote is what has shaped this country.

Despite the importance of voting and relative ease of casting a vote, many choose not to.  Some people refrain from voting because the politics do not sit correctly with them, they do not feel informed enough to make a proper decision, or they are apathetic as to who leads them.  While everyone has the right to abstain, it is their duty to partake in their democratic freedoms by voting for their representatives.

This week, students began campaigning for Student Senate President and Vice President.  If you recall, last year our current president William Kuehni ran unopposed, resulting in an unsurprising victory and low voter turnout.  This year, however, we have two very strong, qualified tickets who aspire to lead and represent the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Two years ago, the race between the Nichols/McGinnis ticket and the Predaina/Kuehni ticket resulted in a large voter turn-out and provided an exciting race.

The campus seemed to be buzzing over the race with buttons adorning backpacks and sidewalk chalk turning the campus into a pastel campaign sign.  It was clear that the student body had a sincere interest in who was going to be their figure leader and bridge the gap between the student body and administration.

This year, I encourage the student body to take a similar interest in the race.

There is no reason to be apathetic about who will directly represent your campus.  Everything from the allocation of segregated fees to Greek councils fall under Student Senate and therefore affect everyone who pays tuition.

In regard to politics keeping you from voting, it is more important than ever to aid in the selection of our president and vice president.  The beauty of elections at UW-Platteville is that the candidates are earnest, honest and hardworking individuals—a stark contrast to the politicians that usually receive the media’s spotlight.

Information or lack thereof is no longer an excuse, either.

A quick search on facebook will provide each ticket’s respective campaign pages where they answer questions and provide updates and information on their platforms. Both tickets have taken time to answer questions from their peers, and in one instance, a ticket even provided a video.

Both tickets are enthusiastic, qualified and eager to serve the student body.  While the two tickets may seem similar, their platforms, perspectives and methodology are not the same.

On April 11 at 5 p.m., the Pioneer Crossing in the Markee Pioneer Student Center will host the presidential debate a week before the polls open.  The debate provides an opportunity to hear the candidates speak on their platform and to make a more informed decision.

This coming election is going to be just as important as the election two years ago and last year.  In the coming week take an interest, seek information and vote.  It’s your duty as a student and an American.

Voting opens on April 17 and continues until 6 p.m. on April 19 through the Student Senate web site.

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