Whoever Said Student Government Doesn’t Matter Was Seriously Mistaken

In case you haven’t heard, democracy is very near and dear to my heart. I love that I live in a nation that celebrates the People’s right to choose their leaders, and I regularly remind others how important it is to cast their votes in U.S. elections.

Student government is no exception. This week, the University of Nevada is holding elections for the Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) offices of President, Vice President, and 22 Senators. If you are a student at my university, I urge you to cast your vote via WebCampus before 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 12. Before you vote, make sure you learn about the candidates’ platforms, especially the presidential candidates, vice presidential candidates, and your college’s senatorial candidates.

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For those who believe ASUN doesn’t do anything of importance, consider this: ASUN has a budget of $2.2 million, comprised entirely of student fees. This money goes toward student programming, such as concerts, shows, movies, game nights, barbecues, tailgates, homecoming events, and more, as well as scholarships and opportunities like the Pack Internship Grant Program, which pays students to participate in otherwise-unpaid internships that can help said students secure a job after graduation. In addition, ASUN helps fund on-campus clubs, organizations, and Greek chapters, and hosts contests and giveaways with prizes ranging from Wolf Pack t-shirts and spirit gear to cameras and iPads. Elected ASUN officers plan these events and programs, decide how much money is allocated toward each of them, and work closely with administration to ensure the comfort, happiness, and wellbeing of Wolf Pack students.

In other words, students at our university pay a total of $2.2 million annually for events and programs that have a direct positive impact on our lives, and we have the power to elect the people who decide how to spend that money. With that being said, why wouldn’t you vote?

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If you still aren’t understanding exactly how ASUN operates, check out this great article in The Sagebrush, written by one of my close friends, that explains the true importance of ASUN and our role as students to understand its operations.

Even better than just voting in this week’s elections — get involved in student government yourself! If you aren’t thrilled about the idea of running for an elected office, considering applying for an appointed position within ASUN. Every position in ASUN is important, and getting involved in student government is a great way to give back to your university and to stay in-the-know about current events.

Even though I will graduate and move on from the University of Nevada in just two months, I still cast my vote this morning because I want to leave my alma mater in good hands. Whether you are a freshman, a super senior like myself, or somewhere in between, make sure you vote in the ASUN elections either today or tomorrow via WebCampus, on the third floor of the student union, or in the lobby of Argenta.

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Did you vote yet? Tweet me a picture of yourself voting and I might retweet you!

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