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Monday, June 24, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950


When asked about politics, a typical Buffalo student will respond with "Who cares?"

Well, welfare mothers care. A working father with cancer whose health insurance will not cover his treatment cares. Marines stationed in Iraq care.

These people are politically aware, so why isn't everyone?

Most people just want to watch their reality TV and argue over who should have won American Idol. Those selfish people have the power to change that.

" I am not involved in politics whatsoever," said Ryan Mctigue, a junior undecided major. "I didn't even vote in the past election. It just isn't [of] any interest to me."

It is something called voting. It is a right guaranteed in something called a constitution, with which everyone should be familiar. Voting is how democracy functions. Educated voters are key to a functional democracy.

Andrew Fried, a junior in the School of Management, said, "I voted in the last election. Did I know what I was voting for? No clue."

Fried's view unfortunately echoes the sentiments of many other people. The majority of those who actually do vote have no idea what they are voting for.

This concern for lack of voting may sound a little outdated. However, I have watched people struggle with analyzing a political cartoon. It was astounding to me how little students know about politics.

This generation just doesn't care. We were raised to be too sheltered, too apathetic and too lazy.

Even on a much smaller scale, UB's student government is ignored. Many UB students have no clue about the Student Association, Senate or Assembly.

"I mean, I always see people in suits in the union handing out flyers about voting, but usually I just walk past them because I actually have no clue what they are doing," said Christine Fuchs, a junior undecided major.

Let's fill this school with debate, true two-sided arguments and not all liberal opinions. I want to see students get angry during school debates; at least angry means you care.

It's time to take action: vote, debate, get involved, do anything to stem the flow of our political oblivion.

There are so many excuses for not paying attention to school news or student government. What's happening in the world outside of the usual sheltered bubble is important, whether students like it or not.

In my English class this past week, we were asked if we knew about the student government or any other form of student involvement. Very few students were able to contribute.

It is crazy how few UB students know what goes on to maintain the school.

" I do not have any idea about how decisions are made within the school; I guess I just assume they are what they are and are not discussed," said Christine Fuchs, a junior undecided major. "I didn't even think of the process until this conversation."

If every eligible student voted or attempted to ensure that all their friends voted, we could single-handedly change school politics. At the very least, we can be involved and educated.

One vote rarely stands alone. Often, one can inspire others to participate, which has the potential to change state and national politics. We have the power to do something, and it's about time we made use of that power.

It all comes back to education, not the molecular science type, but true education about current events. Our school system has failed to inform us on the history of "now."

Instead of students turning their backs and receding into the little bubble, they should learn something. Turn CNN, Fox or MSNBC on for five minutes. Read the daily copy of The New York Times in the morning. It only takes a few seconds to scan the daily news.

Or, most importantly, if you are not going to dedicate time to participate in the "real world," at least partake in our school. Read The Spectrum, ask questions, take those fliers and actually read and act on them.

Do something; everyone can and now is the time.




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