OPINION: From college to post-grad — the importance of staying informed

As a student, especially one who is not heavily involved on campus, it is easy to cast things such as Student Government or Board of Trustees meetings to the wayside. Unless something major happens, there is no reason to keep up with them.


While being a student in media enables a little bit more knowledge when it comes to this sort of thing, it’s important to be educated on the happenings of our college campuses and local government regardless of backgrounds or majors.


Personally, I’m terrible about this. I don’t care enough about politics and government to follow along, even when the lines are clearly drawn for me.  


In part, that’s why what we do here at the student paper is so important. We are a student voice and an outlet for people to express their opinions, but we’re also here to educate others on important events on campus. Our governing bodies can be complicated, and it can be difficult to understand what they are responsible for or the types of decisions they make for everyday people and students. It’s all about accessibility and the ability to interpret the information given — a responsibility that tends to fall into the hands of journalists.


The BOT met last week and while it’s easy to be apathetic, there is so much that goes on at these meetings. We need to be paying attention.


SIUE is raising fees for students in the Fall 2019 semester, changing programs and electing new officials — officials who will now be the voice of the student body.


Looking at the numbers, the fee increases may not seem like a big deal; however, when they are multiplied by the number of students, the number grows exponentially.


It’s the hope that students would be at least the slightest bit curious as to where this money goes. It is our money after all.


It is not only important to be aware of this increase but also where it is going. In this case, the funds will go to different campus renovation projects aimed at improving areas like Information Technology Services, ACCESS and various buildings on campus. Whether or not that money is worth spending is up to the student body, but please know that every student does have a voice. There is an opportunity to make concerns heard.  


It may seem like a hassle, and some will question whether it is worth the time it takes, but I promise staying informed will never be a negative thing. Right now, it’s campus affairs, but once graduation rolls around, I hope students continue to keep up with what’s going on in the world around them.  


So whether it’s the SG president of SIUE, the newly-appointed members of the Board of Trustees or even the President of the United States, we could all make it a goal to keep up with these people — our government, whether it be on a small or large level — by regularly checking up on things that are happening.


This could be as easy as reading articles from media outlets — such as your local or student newspaper —  and following up with invitations to attend meetings. Now is not the time to be apathetic. Now is the time to be passionate, and for those uninterested in politics — hey, I get it. They’re not mine either, but for my sake and everyone else’s, I am willing to try. Hopefully everyone else is too.


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