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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

You should vote

Published: April 3, 2009
Section: Opinions

PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

It is 12:30AM on Thursday and I have just cast my vote for the next group of Student Union officials. My inboxes, Bmail and Facebook alike, are being bombarded by messages from candidates, CA’s and current Student Union officials telling me to go vote. Yet, despite all of their efforts, I know that in the end only a couple hundred Brandesians will vote.

“The Student Union doesn’t do anything.” “Nothing actually changes.” “I’m too lazy.” I’ve heard all of these excuses as to why people don’t vote. On a campus of about 3,000 undergraduates who are supposed to be the best and the brightest, you would think we would know a little better. Let us take a moment to look at these excuses:

The student union doesn’t do anything: The Student Union definitely doesn’t sit there and twiddle their thumbs. If nothing else, look at the success of the recently installed ‘Deis Bikes program. Forget any sort of administrative work and advocacy work, especially surrounding the Rose, and whether it was good, bad, or useless. ‘Deis Bikes is something tangible, and the collective Brandeis campus seems to like it.

Want to see more of this kind of programming? Vote for the candidate who says he or she wants to do more of this type of programming for the student body.

Nothing changes: What is supposed to change? According to the Student Union website, the Union is suppose to, “Represent constituents to the administration, the community, and each other. Our goal is to improve University life, advocate for student needs, and protect student rights.” We are not voting for a group of students who will come in and take over the school; rather, we should vote people in who will be able to uphold the job of the Union.

This should be more important than ever, as we have all been witness to the crucible the Union was put through this year. The financial meltdown this school is witnessing and the subsequent Rose Art Museum crisis should be enough to show any Brandeisian how important it is to vote. The people we put into the Student Union are the front line for us. If you didn’t like what how the Union responded, well here’s your chance to say so.

Change doesn’t have to be a new campus or something on a massive scale. Go vote for the people who agree with you, who are running on a platform different from the one this year’s Student Union ran on and executed. There is your change.

I’m too lazy: this is the sorriest excuse out of them all. As students, our job is to sit on the computer. Whether you are writing a paper, or more likely, on Facebook, the elections are right there.

Look at your newsfeed or your inbox and someone will have given you the link. You just have to click, and then check off some boxes. You don’t have to move, and in fact you could even look at it as a cool new way to procrastinate!

If you don’t care that’s fine, just say it—and while it is in your best interest to care, don’t give me any other excuse.

While this wont be published until after the polls have closed, take this into account the next time a voting opportunity arises: even if you abstain, vote.