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Debates engulf campus, but student involvement lacking

If you would ask anyone involved in Student Government right now about the student body and its involvement in the upcoming elections, their reply would be simple: more involvement. According to an advertising supplement in Sunday’s Tampa Tribune, there are 42,590 people enrolled at USF, but not even 10 percent of those students voted in last year’s election. The numbers have been mediocre at best, with last year’s election broke 2,500 in the general election and approximately 4,000 in the runoff. According to The Alligator, the University of Florida managed to pull out roughly 10,500 in a general election and even more in the runoff. So why is USF not involved in SG?

Could it be that SG controls $8.5 million to allocate in activities and programs throughout campus? USF’s student body walks aimlessly about campus, never realizing the true voice students have.

SG is very active in this campus, contributing to several resources that students take for granted everyday. Every year students pay Activity and Service fees to the university; in turn, that money is given to provide funding for the Campus Recreation Center, the Phyllis P. Marshall Center, and various other student organizations, groups and services. SG has control over how that money is spent.

Essentially, students who take control and vote in SG elections have the power to fund whatever they deem necessary or, in their eyes, worthy. This, above all else, is a valid reason for students to voice their opinions on where their money should be spent. Students cannot say that there are not ways to find out about the candidates; there are plenty of opportunities.

Candidates have bombarded campus with signs, chalkings and flyers to provide their views on how to run SG. Most contain their vision or platform for their quest of the presidency, but how many students actually stop and take notice?

The coming week is a crucial time for students and candidates; it gives both a stage to get down and dirty and into brass tacks. Debates are a perfect venue for students to get involved and question their potential leaders in different settings. The information is out there; all it takes is a little involvement.

This week, think of those fees that make every student cringe at their fee assessment each semester and realize that there is an opportunity to see that the right organizations receive the money they deserve. Become a voice on campus so that SG is just that: a government of the students, by the students and for the students.