By Lauren Gray

With student elections approaching, I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone of why political activism is important, especially here on campus, and how to get involved. As a student body, it is up to us to be active in our school and communicate the changes and policies we want to see. From the College of Business, to the College of Education and beyond, we are a unit and we have the power.

Every college has its own set of needs. The engineering school for example has a stronger need for good Wi-Fi throughout campus to finish projects and research. The journalism school needs the most current versions of the Adobe Suite to create design pieces, and so on and so forth. As a student of your college and of this university, there are always aspects of your college that could be improved to help you make your work the highest quality possible. Many of us pay a significant amount of money to be here, so we should have access to as many resources as possible to get the most for our money. Not to say there aren’t a wide variety of resources already, but as I said before, if there is a change that needs to be made, it is up to us to voice it.

The best way to get these changes voiced is through our ASUN representatives. This is why it is imperative that we not only participate in the voting process, but elect officials that will best serve their college and the student body as a whole. This might sound cliche, but I hate when people complain about the way their school or college is run when I know they didn’t even bother to vote. There is a reason to vote, there is a reason to care if you are serious about your education.

Not to mention, this is really good practice for the real world. Right now, the issues that matter most to us are related to our education and our futures. When we graduate, the issues become our money, our careers, our lives. If we don’t learn how to be politically active now and understand that we do have a voice and can make changes at this level, what will happen when we graduate and live in the real world? Political activism right now is not only our duty as students, but an absolute necessity if we want to be a more engaged and informed population in the future.

I understand that it is hard to know where to start getting involved in our student government. Really, your level of activism depends on you. As long as you are active in some way, you are making a difference. So here are a few ways you can be more engaged in ASUN and be sure that your voice is heard.

The first and maybe most obvious way to be involved is to simply vote. When the ASUN elections open March 11 and 12, open your laptop. It is not difficult at all: just log into WebCampus on either day and click on the link. You don’t even have to get out of your pajamas, so there is no reason not to elect the candidate you think will represent your ideas best and make sure they are the ones who get into office.

Along with that, get to know your candidates. Go to the senate debates and follow their campaigns on social media. Familiarize yourself with their platforms. Know what each candidate is about and what they are willing to do for you as an elected official. This is especially important regarding the candidates running for positions in your college. And to stress just how different candidates can be, the presidential candidate Royce Feuer has a very different platform than Caden Fabbi’s campaign. As a student at the university, you should be very well aware of this. By the way, don’t vote for Royce.

Lastly, if you really want to get involved and be an integral part of making changes in your college, apply to run for a position next year. You will be the voice of your college, you will be the one meeting with the other senators and officials of the university and you will be the one that students choose to make the changes they want to see. Not to mention, it is a great experience.

Political activism is what drives change in our university. Everyone needs to care and be active if we want the best college experience possible. Be part of making this university and your college experience the best it can be.

Lauren Gray studies journalism. She can be reached at dcoffey@sagebrush.unr.edu and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.