BY CHRIS KERNAN-SCHMIDT
Whether you are a freshman or senior, are a commuter or on-campus resident, or have too much school spirit or none at all, Student Government works for you.
Student Government is composed of three main parts: the Executive Cabinet with 30 members (including secretaries and undersecretaries), the Senate that passes bills, and an Elections and Disputes Commission that handles all elections and interorganizational disputes.
These three parts make up an organization that fights for students’ needs, rights and wants. However, it seems not enough Mason students give Student Government a second thought. With a little over 5 percent of the Mason student body voting in the 2018-2019 spring elections, it is clear that not enough people care about Student Government.
Perhaps students do not know enough about Student Government to care. Possibly, some think it’s only for government majors (I know I thought that). Or even worse, maybe a few believe Student Government is totally useless! No matter the reason for the general apathy, all of it is far from the truth.
I believe Student Government is a bastion of discussion, students’ rights and an amazing forum for change. Many services that students use and love started as Student Government initiatives. The Gunston Go-Bus, which takes students to local malls and shopping centers, started as a Student Government initiative. The emergency and crisis numbers on the back of all students’ Mason I.D. card were implemented from a Student Government initiative. The list goes on and on.
Student Government represents the students. If you received a citation unfairly, if you think Southside does not serve enough vegan options, if you believe faculty should post their syllabi when you register, or any other number of possible issues, Student Government will fight for you.
If the student population as a whole does not care about Student Government, then how can Student Government accurately represent their constituents? The least we can do as students is vote. Just like voting in national, state and local elections is important, so is voting in Student Government elections. When you vote for the president, vice president and senators who best represent your ideas and vision for Mason, your ideas have more influence on the community.
We should take Student Government seriously. It is important for us as students to be represented accurately, but the only way we can ensure this is to vote and participate. Student Government is very easy to join. Whether you want to be part of the legislation process or work with facilities in the executive cabinet, all you have to do is apply (or run). If being part of Student Government is not your cup of tea it is extremely easy to vote in the elections.
With Senate elections for student government coming up in a few weeks, I suggest everyone vote. It is easy to complain about issues in your community, but Student Government gives everyone the chance to do something about them.