Apathy or laziness?

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A few weeks ago a single man created an unplanned stir in front of Landis Auditorium. All he was doing was exercising his First Amendment rights. It’s too bad the student body can’t get into such frenzy over exercising its own constitutional blessings. It seems like once again, another student election will go barely noticed. Maybe the 601 people that turned out last year will bring friends and raise the turnout, but expectations don’t seem to be high. The real question here is onto whose shoulders should fall the blame for such poor response among students? It seems the problem may be a little more than students just not caring. If there was one thing the man in front of Landis Auditorium, the activist Paul Mitchell who came on campus with a 5-foot sign proclaiming damnation proved: It was that the students of Riverside Community College can get riled up about something if given the proper motivation. It’s not to say that no effort has been put into the student elections of the past. There have been flyers handed out and raffles organized, but now it is clear what has been done in the past is certainly not working. Well, the way to solve these problems wouldn’t take a lot of extra work or money; it would merely be a case of taking what the Associated Student Body already does and amplifying it to meet the level of activity that the students have shown they respond to. There is a large eye catching poster in the Tiger’s Den proclaiming how much student government wants to help the student body, but there is no mention of the all important dates of upcoming elections.A good start was made with the addition of online voting through Web Advisor, but there could be more advertisement of this brave new step into the digital world. The green pieces paper tacked up around school, no matter how neon, are simply not cutting it. There are thousands of flyers around campus and one more just isn’t attracting the attention. It hasn’t worked in the past, and there is no reason to think this will be the year when the same ol’ same ol’ will inspire change. Students need advanced notice. Between classes, work and the million other things RCC students participate in, the procrastination in the release of voting information is an easy deterrent for those who might have considered voting. The students of RCC could easily make up excuses, there’s no reason for excuses to be handed to them, and a little bit of organization can go along way.A good start might be utilizing the calendar on the RCC home page, which seems to be used by almost every other group on campus.If the sports teams, the art gallery and the performing arts groups of RCC can provide their information, then why can’t voting information go there as well? There should be information in the catalog of classes, which every student reads. It was good to see that as of March 22 the link to voting was finally put up on Web Advisor as well as the RCC home page, but there is no reason the information couldn’t go online earlier. What is on the Web page could also be helpful. There should be information on the candidates, on what the position entails on anything other that just a couple of names. When there is so little information it is hard to get excited about any part of the election.If those organizing the election can put a little enthusiasm into the event, they can hardly expect the ever-changing student body of RCC to muster a bit of enthusiasm.What would really work for this election would be bodies. If many, or better yet all, members of student government were pounding the pavement, handing out flyers and actively participating in something so important to them, a response might be stirred. At the least, students will be able to put faces to this theory of a student government. All Mitchell needed was a sign and himself to get the students of RCC into an uproar. With the world at its fingertips and plenty of planning time, why can’t student government muster a meow?

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