Alien in America: An apathetic situation

In Columns, Opinion

I loved being in the United States during the recent presidential elections. It was the talk of the town; the merits of Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton, and Sarah “Tina Fey” Palin’s ridiculousness. People in America seemed to really care who got voted into office, and that’s what democracy is all about. It was beautiful.

So why is it that no one seems to care about elections a lot closer to home?

But before I get hate mail (again) I have to say that things appear to be different this year.

As opposed to the “unopposed” situation we had at Cal State Fullerton last year, there are four parties running for Associated Students Inc. president and vice president this year. That’s a huge leap from just Joe Lopez and Juli Santos running and winning by default.

On another side note, I have to tip my hat to both Joe and Juli as they seriously surpassed all my personal expectations regarding ASI. Their efforts in dealing with budget cuts and protests and their support for students over administration deserve at least the tip of a hat. There, hat tipped.

Back on track, this year I went to the Coffee with the Candidates event, where ASI presidential candidates held a question and answer session open to any and all students. It was for students to bring their concerns, questions and queries to the people who might well be the next pair of student leaders on campus.

Funnily enough, most of the people in the crowd weren’t average students, but appeared to be friends, family and frat brothers of the candidates.

So CSUF, where the hell were the rest of you?

I would put the total number of attendees at around 30, which is a 0.1 percent representation of a 30,000 student strong campus. Now that’s just downright pathetic, Titans.

I get it; you just couldn’t give a shit. You come to school, go to class then GTFO to go back to whatever suburb of Orange County you crawled from. Is that what you want from school?

Not everyone is a commuter-college student. Not everyone leaves the minute class is over. I’m an international student, I live next to campus and I spend a lot of my time here. There are tons of interesting things going on after hours. I’ve had better parties on campus than off-campus sometimes.

College students are fun to hang out with. So why not care about the school you spend two to four years of your life attending?

In a time of budget cuts and economic crisis (they were going to cut large parts of the Humanities department for God’s sake!), it’s really weird to me that students still seem to not care about the student government elections.

Here are some things to consider:

Does ASI even matter? Yes, because they are still in control of a multimillion dollar budget. The ASI president makes over $18,700 per academic year. Don’t want to be president? No problem – the V.P. makes $17,600, and 3 other positions below that make $15,400 a pop.

It’s a pretty sweet deal, and a heck of a lot more than I’m getting paid to write this column.

Does ASI affect you as a student? Yes, because every student makes a mandatory payment of over $200 per semester to ASI’s budget.

So, if you voted for Obama because you pay tax dollars, why shouldn’t you vote for the ASI president? You sure as hell paid for it already.

This election looks to be a good one, and we seem to have a great diversity in candidates:

Joel Thayer and Beth Velasco are male and female, Greek and non-Greek with the message of unity for students.

Joe and Andrew Lopez (no relation) are two current ASI members and frat boys.

Khang Pham and Mark Gonzalez are business majors, and I’ve partied at their house (true story).

Austin Nation, an older male nursing major, and his running mate Krystal Santiago, who is young, beautiful, intelligent and a business major.

It already sounds better than the cast of 90210.

Step up and vote. It doesn’t cost you anything, yet could mean the world to you if you intend to remain a student at CSUF.

In a time of dire budget cuts and a bleak future for California’s Master Plan for Higher Education, we need a few good men, and women, to take the lead and defend the rights of students whenever and wherever it is needed.

So, for Tuffy’s sake, go vote.

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