Issue: Civil literacy critical for college students


Editorial Board

We hear it a lot, but government, at all levels, has an impact on our lives. 

From Washington D.C. to the city council, decisions are made about our lives. Understanding the operation of the government can help us to be engaged with the decision making process.

According to Insider Higher Ed, in 2018, fewer than 200,000 college students voted in elections outside their home states. This is just 0.2 percent of the U.S. voting population.

But why should we care? We are in college to learn about our career fields and have a good time, right?

When students don’t vote in their local elections, they are actively allowing legislators to make decisions for them. 

Regardless of your academic interests and career goals, chances are the government plays a role in regulating your interests. 

FAFSA is administered federally, and student loan legislation is a hot topic in D.C. Federal regulators touch almost every career field in some way. 

At the state level, tuition rates, General Activity Fee and academic programs are determined by the legislature and the Board of Regents. 

In Brookings, the city council regulates housing, city ordinances and businesses students might work at. 

Taking to Twitter to express your opinion about the government can be effective, but there are also more official ways to communicate your opinion with your representatives at all levels. 

Your representatives have contact information for you to use. Our state representatives do not go to school here. They don’t know first-hand what buildings need fixing, what programs need funding or the problems impacting our learning. 

Understanding legislative process and staying informed about what politicians are doing is important for college students. Legislators make decisions about the school you attend and the town and state you now live in. Their decisions affect you and you should want to know what they are.

The Collegian Editorial Board meets weekly and agrees on the issue of the editorial. The editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian.