Vote Right!

Aug 212006
Authors: Nick Hemenway

Although most of us wish summer would never end, here we are, starting a brand new school year in Fort Collins.

This first week is one of my favorites. For five whole days, we aimlessly wander around campus, catching up with old friends, finding our new classes and convincing ourselves that this is the semester we will begin reading required material before class.

But above the usual hustle and bustle of a CSU student’s life, this year we have one added element.

This year is an election year.

Right now, many of you are rolling your eyes in anticipation of all the madness that is surely on the way. For political junkies like me, the party is just beginning.

But before we get too deep into the issues, I thought I would take the opportunity to stress how important it is that each and every one of us takes an active role in the shaping of our country.

I say this regardless of your political views.

I would much rather see an educated voter who disagrees with me than someone who doesn’t care about the issues and doesn’t know what the inside of a voting booth looks like. Last week, a new Zogby poll came out that found while 77 percent of Americans can name two of Snow White’s dwarfs, only 24 percent can name two Supreme Court Justices.

When I heard that, I could only mutter one word. Wow.

Whether you vote or not, the outcome of every election affects each and every one of us. One of the most common reasons people in our generation don’t vote is because they feel they can’t make a difference.

That is where we greatly underestimate ourselves. Take for example, the dreaded three-unrelated law. This law mostly affects us, college students, and everyone here always complains about it.

But think about this for a second: What if our entire student body registered to vote right here in Fort Collins? We could single-handedly swing the election of our City Council members.

With roughly 27,000 voting college students watching their every move, no council member would dare support the three-unrelated law. That would help us keep our rents down and let us live where we want to live. Then would you see the value in voting?

So in the coming weeks, as the political activists fill the Plaza and campaign signs fill the windows of the residence halls, try to look beyond the commercials and gimmicks and decide for yourself what you believe.

And remember, if there is one thing Chuck Norris hates, it’s people who don’t vote.

Nick Hemenway is a senior mechanical engineering major. His column appears occasionally in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to

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