Daily 49er

Me, myself and ASI

Students have a responsibility to keep invested in ASI elections.

Candidates+for+the+upcoming+2016+ASI+elections+participate+in+an+Executive+Candidate%E2%80%99s+forum+hosted+by+CSULB+student+media+last+Thursday+in+front+of+the+Speaker%E2%80%99s+Platform.
Candidates for the upcoming 2016 ASI elections participate in an Executive Candidate’s forum hosted by CSULB student media last Thursday in front of the Speaker’s Platform.

Candidates for the upcoming 2016 ASI elections participate in an Executive Candidate’s forum hosted by CSULB student media last Thursday in front of the Speaker’s Platform.

Trang Le

Trang Le

Candidates for the upcoming 2016 ASI elections participate in an Executive Candidate’s forum hosted by CSULB student media last Thursday in front of the Speaker’s Platform.

Micayla Vermeeren, Opinions Editor

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Students have a lot going on.

Between juggling classes, keeping up with relationships, managing work schedules, maintaining hobbies and finding time to get an adequate amount of sleep, it can be hard for us all to find energy to spare.

But, some things just deserve the effort of finding and utilizing whatever energy is left over at the end of the day. This week’s Associated Students Inc. election undeniably falls under the “effort-deserving” umbrella.

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like elections have progressively taken over my newspapers, social media platforms and casual conversations. On campus, especially, I feel like everyone is pushing our community to #FeelTheBern or Make America Great Again. In such an important national election year, I get the lack of desire to invest time and personal energy in another, smaller election like ASI’s.

Unless you’re graduating at the end of this semester, though, the results of this election will be directly affecting the remainder of your Cal State Long Beach experience. And if you are moving on to the big, bad world of post-college life, I would hope you still respect our campus enough to wish the best for all the future 49ers that will be around in the next few years.

No, the results of this election won’t be bringing buildings to the ground or replacing our sidewalks with people-moving conveyor belts, but there will be some very real changes. In last year’s election, only 11.9 percent of students voted. That leaves over 85 percent – roughly 29,000 students – keeping quiet. Do you want to be part of that majority that doesn’t put their voice, and vote, out there?

I’m not here to compare and contrast campaign platforms or wax poetic about which running pair I support – if I’m being fully honest, I still haven’t made up my mind as to how I’ll be casting my ballot.

The election starts tomorrow, and if you haven’t been on top of things it would be easy to think you’ve missed the boat and can’t do anything for it anymore. While you can start casting your vote via links being emailed out now, the online polls will stay open until midnight on Wednesday. It’s not a lot of time to work with, but it is enough to get a basic understanding of what is being promised by campaigns and figure out how you feel about hot topics being addressed.

Even though I haven’t put a terribly extensive amount of time into doing the same, I know what issues matter to be in regard to campus. I know what I like to hear about the future of our campus, and I know what is and isn’t realistic for our university right now. I know that not all campaign promises will pan out as expected, and I know that no individual is the silver bullet for all of our issues, but I do know that there are some that will do more good (by my standards) than others.

And I know that every student on this campus has the ability to look at their personal politics and find similarities in some form of a candidate’s platform.

So, get on those computers. Skim through campaign statements. Take half an hour out of your day and put on your actively-involved-student hat. Vote.

Even if things don’t go the way you would have liked, you’ll still have put your voice out there and done your part to improve the future of our university.

That’s something to be proud of.

 

Correction: The original article reported that 8.4 percent of students voted in last year’s Associated Students Inc. election. The actual figure is 11.9 percent, which represents 4,196 students. 

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