Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Importance of the Student Vote

Salisbury students,
As you can see the election on April 5th directly impacts you. Yes SOME students are only here for nine months, but that is the majority of the year. Do you want to live in a town where the laws you must abide by are made without consulting or considering you? Personally, I want a say in legislation that is going to directly effect my daily life. Students are held to the same duties and obligations associated with citizenship in Wicomico County, yet we are being treated by various candidates running *cough* Cohen, Spies *cough* as if we are not a part of this community, and therefore, in Salisbury, the student voice doesn't seem to matter.

The recent flyers advocating Cohen and Spies support for Salisbury students warn students to educate themselves and not fall for slanderous campaigns from local landlords. Well, this blog is meant to help students educate themselves but it doesn't have much to do with local landlords; instead we are trying to show students what a steaming pile of gullshit Cohen and Spies are trying to feed them. Actions speak louder than words, and their prior actions (as reviewed in further detail throughout the blog) prove they clearly do not have the students' best interests at heart. Instead, their "hidden agenda" includes
laws severely regulating rental units and their tenants.

Do not allow yourself to be apathetic like Tiffany Knight, or be discouraged by statements with underlying messages from the Wicomico County Election Director, Anthony Gutierrez. The following excerpt is from Salisbury University's newspaper, The Flyer, by Katie Franklin.

"Many feel the student voice is important in the upcoming City Council Elections. This begs the question, should students living in Salisbury nine months of the year change their registrations to be able to vote here instead of in their hometown’s city elections? Opinions vary on this topic; while some students feel it is important to vote, others, like sophomore Tiffany Knight, do not see the benefits.
“Honestly, I wouldn’t change my registration,” Knight said. “I would wait until I have found a more permanent living location to change my registration so that way my vote actually affects me.”
Knight hits on a similar point stressed by Anthony Gutierrez, Wicomico County Election Director, who said their office is always ready to provide assistance to students who are looking for more information in order to make the right decision for their own personal situation. He said students should also be advised that there could be some unforeseen consequences, such as jeopardizing a scholarship based on voter residency, which should also be taken into account."

The following is an excerpt from Democracy and College Student Voting (Third Edition) by Michael O’Loughlin and Corey Unangs. It can be found here, and is posted up on Salisbury University's PACE (Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement) website.

"Town-gown relationships also are often disturbed by student life issues surroundingcollege student rental properties, late night parties and parking problems. Hence, town officials tend to ignore students as a political constituency and discourage political participation.....Paradoxically, another common fear is that students may become too interested and active and “take over the town”, disproportionately influencing the local political scene. In this view, chaos and disruption of the local community are likely to ensue if students become politically active. The evidence to date suggests otherwise. In those communities where student participation rates have increased above normal and students have become a more formidable force in local politics, a crisis of institutions at the local level has failed to materialize."

The fact is, many officials would LOVE it if students bought into their propaganda or fail to flex their political voice and rights. However, it is extremely detrimental, if students value their rights, to vote on April 5th.

As said by Ghandi, “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result."

1 comment:

BlackSheba said...

Looks like O'Loughlin was on to something with that Town & Gown.