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Apathetic feelings toward democracy aren’t working out

Whitney Beyer

The Broadside

The unin­formed individu­al is an unfortu­nate thing, but the uninformed masses are downright scary.

While I keep remind­ing myself that I shouldn’t be surprised by the common crowd’s apathetic feelings toward their rights to democracy, I can’t help but find myself appalled by it.

Here in the United States, we as citizens have the right to know what’s going on in our country, and better yet, we have the right to cast our votes and voice our opinions in hopes of helping to shape the society in which we live.

Sometimes I find myself so excited by this liberty that I go on raves about how truly phenomenal representative government can be. Unfortunately, my raves usually fall on indifferent ears.

This same privilege that citizens of the United states enjoy applies to our student government. Central Or­egon Community College isn’t an en­tire country, but that doesn’t mean our rights to choose our student council are unimportant.

During the 2008 U.S. presidential election, I found myself overtly frus­trated by the lack of informed voters. These uninformed individuals were casting their votes based on pop-cul­ture, social stereotypes, and other il­logical grounds.

For me, the ’08 election wasn’t about forcing my favorite candidate upon others, it was about pushing them to think and educate themselves because it’s their right. No matter how many times I stressed that, however, a lot of people didn’t seem to care.

This seems to be the case for student government elections week at COCC. I guess I can’t say that I’m shocked, but I can most certainly say I’m disappointed.

Last week, I heard a variety of dis­satisfying statements around campus in regards to elections week. Most of them were along the lines of What’s up with all of the ‘Vote for’ posters?

The comments that really got me heated, though, were the ones in which students, completely unaware of anything about any one of the sev­en candidates, would claim that their vote was going to Dustin Moore be­cause he handed out sodas in front of the Campus Center or to Brenda Pierce because her posters and table-tops were everywhere.

I’m not saying you should or should not have voted for either of these can­didates. I was equally as frustrated by students who said they were definitely not going to vote for Brenda Pierce be­cause they couldn’t even go pee in the girl’s bathroom without seeing a ‘Vote 4 Brenda’ sticky note on the back of the stall. Ultimately, however, it all comes down to why these students voted the way they did; that’s what really matters.

A lot of the problems that plague our country – you know, the ones that everyone is constantly bitching about – can most definitely be attributed to the surplus of uninformed American voters. If students would take the time to educate themselves on campus is­sues, they might notice the same kinds of problems – on a much smaller scale, of course – beginning to infect our campus community on the hill.

 

You may contact Whitney Beyer at wbeyer@cocc.edu

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