“These are historic times.”
If you haven’t heard President Bush or candidate John Kerry mutter that phrase yet, then watch “Headline News” for any given 30-minute interval and, assuredly, you will hear one or both mention the importance of this election and the decisions we face.
Welcome back new and returning Rams. We are a historic bunch. We are the largest student body in the history of CSU. There are more than 25,000 of us.
Many of these 25,000-plus people choose not to care about the world. Sports, pop culture, beer, schoolwork and routine saturate our minds, leaving little room to carry an extra burden of participating in politics or culture. And some of us are simply apathetic.
But we need all of you.
Outside of that college bubble is the real world. A world that is directly impacted by people’s participation in politics. A world you will soon enter.
I graduated from this great school more than a year ago. When I started college this country was on the tail end of a historic economic boom. Jobs were plentiful and high paying. By my junior year we lived in a new reality of terrorism and an economic turmoil.
Things changed dramatically during my stint as an undergrad, and they will change again by the time I earn my master’s and you guys start and finish your time here.
After Nov. 2 of this year, we will have a new or returning United States executive. While the two-party system usually causes the parties to lean toward the center – essentially making both parties and their candidates the same – there is a noticeable difference between Kerry and Bush. Has Bush handled the war on terror the right way, or does Kerry’s vision deserve a chance?
Does it take tax cuts or tax increases to stimulate an economy on the verge of recovery? What will it take to lessen the country’s dependence on foreign oil and other energy resources? Both candidates have unique approaches to solving these problems.
In the coming school year, I, and my fellow Collegian cohorts, will do my best to provide you with timely information and analysis of the events leading up to this historic election.
The decisions we make now will impact the world we will soon enter.
I entered a world where long-tenured professionals were forced to work low-paying retail jobs just to pay their bills. I entered a world where we captured Saddam Hussein but failed to find weapons of mass destruction. I entered a world where terrorism threatens the very fabric of our society, but that fabric was already tattered through knee-jerk policies such as the Patriot Act.
There are more than 25,000 CSU students, which is less than half the number of people who decided the 2000 election. And last I heard, Colorado’s 10 electoral votes are up for grabs this year as Kerry and Bush are in a dead heat to win this state. Whoever wins Colorado could win the Oval Office.
We face changes in the coming months and years. Make sure you participate; otherwise other people will make the vital decisions and create the world you will enter. You’ve already made history by being the largest student body in school history. Continue that trend by making your voices heard as we approach change.