Big decisions impacting Dixie State University’s students are about to be made, and odds are most of the students won’t take any part in the decisions.
But it’s not because they won’t have the opportunity.
Washington County general elections are on Nov. 5, and voters will have the opportunity to choose local officials, most notably city council members. Chances are, the majority of those reading this article will not vote.
This is a sad fact considering the impact this election is going to have upon us as college students living in the St. George area. Those elected will help decide what city policies are made, possible housing expansions, and types of businesses allowed in the city, among other things.
If you listen to members of an older generation, you will hear them say college students are in the process of making the most important decisions of our lives.
Guess what? They’re right.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that what you’re going to major in, your career choice, and with whom you would like to settle down are the only big decisions that you are going to make right now. There is another, more obvious answer.
Almost every year, citizens 18 and older have the most amazing opportunity that millions of people only dream of: the opportunity to vote and help influence the community in which they live.
For whatever reason, people between the ages of 18 and 24 often decide to not exercise this great right. The question I ask is simple: Why?
Do young people not understand the importance of elections, especially local elections, when choices are made that directly impact so many different aspects of our lives?
I have often heard young people say they don’t register to vote, or decide not to vote, because it doesn’t matter. Utah is always going to be a red state, and a single vote doesn’t matter.
Wake up, people. National elections are just a small piece in the puzzle. Every community in Utah is going to be different, not just one big Republican blob.
In other words, if you want more fun places for young people to hang out, do some research, register to vote if you haven’t, and then vote for the candidate whom you believe will help accomplish this goal. If you want to make sure the town stays quiet after 10 p.m., then the same process is applicable to you.
St. George is often referred to as a “good ol’ boys” town. Many young people look at this negatively because they see St. George has remained an “old person” town instead of what they want: a “college town.”
If you are one of these people and don’t take the necessary steps to vote, your voice will not be heard, and the good ol’ boys will continue to rule.
A wise man once told me young people don’t realize how powerful they are. We are so social media savvy that we can start a movement in a matter of minutes.
We need to be the change we want to see in the world. I share the blame; I have not yet registered to vote in Washington County after recently making the move to St. George. I do plan on changing my registration to Washington County so that I can participate this election year.
Registering to vote is easy, and there are many options. If you want to vote in the communities from which you come, mail-in voting is available. Simply go to http://www.vote.utah.gov and follow the appropriate links. If you hail from a different state, a simple Google search will aid in your registration.
Let your voice be heard. A movement starts with just one man or woman. Your privilege to vote is your way of being that one man or woman.