LETTER TO THE EDITOR | To the Disengaged: Voting Is Important

When I was first sworn in as the new Director of Elections for the Student Assembly, I inherited a roughly 15 percent voter turnout rate and a campus which was — nearly entirely — politically disengaged with Cornell student government. I know this because I was one of these students.

I did not vote in the fall Student Assembly elections, and at the time, I felt entirely bored and occasionally annoyed with the process which included being bombarded with emails and posters across campus. My thought process was simple: The Student Assembly, in my view, was an institution with no real power. I saw it as a playground for students who wanted to pad their resume and play mock government. Why would I engage in such a system? Why should I even care about it?

As my first semester at Cornell came to a close, I came to the same realization that many others across campus felt — that my original perception was the furthest thing from the truth. The Student Assembly holds real political power at the University level, and as someone who has a passion for shared governance and student empowerment, I felt that I had to get involved to make a change to this inaccurate and harmful assumption.