Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0. Attribution Tom Arthur at wikimedia.org

It’s the same thing every year. My friends and I sitting around complaining that the tuition is too damn high; that, as a species, parking spots on campus are going extinct and, more importantly, that our opinions as students go unheard by those at SGA. We love to complain about how they never reach out to individuals and how they are completely inaccessible off in their world. We love to find anything we can to complain about. I can’t help but to think “haters gonna hate.”

Maybe it’s just my group of friends. Maybe we’re just bitter old men who sit around squabbling to ourselves because we can. I’m not saying it isn’t somewhat true, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that we’re not the only ones.

I’ve had numerous conversations on, around and about campus with students sharing the same negative thoughts. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. It’s only natural to be negative sometimes. No one’s perfectly happy all of the time. It’s easy to complain when you’re staring down a midterm, 35-page thesis or a senior design project. Plus, someone’s got to speak up to keep those in power in check.

That being said, I’ve decided to change my ways, albeit three and a half years too late. I’ll be graduating this December and I’ve got one semester to make amends, and so here I am writing to say that it’s time that we the students let our voice be heard. Let me and my fellow naysayers, put aside our loathing and help bridge the gap between SGA and the student body by going out and voting this week. Let’s make ourselves aware of the issues that affect each one of us and let’s choose the candidate that we hope will lead us in the right direction.

I’m not writing in support of either ticket. I’m writing in support of Tech. With so much going on in our daily lives, I think we forget that SGA exists. I think we also forget the weight of the decisions the organization as a whole makes in the name of the student body.

Many of us don’t realize tuition is on the rise until it is too late. We may have missed the announcement that HOPE is being cut for the fifth year in a row. Or perhaps we didn’t care enough to read the email telling us that the new student activity fee budget has been passed. These are all major events that drastically affect the lives we lead as students, and I had no clue they were flying past me.

I realized that if I truly did care about both my school and the education it was providing for me, then I need to take the initiative to help improve it. Sure there are plenty of more direct ways of helping to better Tech, but the indirect role the SGA provides allows me to focus on school work instead of going to the state capitol myself.

Currently, I’m inefficiently utilizing this vital academic tool by not reaching out on my own accord. There’s never been an occasion in which I’ve gone out of my way to let my voice be heard by a member of SGA. I complain that they’re not listening to me and the student body when I’m the one whose said nothing at all.

Of course they will be inaccessible or hard to reach at times, but we mustn’t forget that they too are students with their own lives.

The bottom line is, it is up to us as students to bridge the gap that separates SGA from the apathetic. The choices we make this week will have a longer lasting legacy than we can imagine. We’re never going to be happy with the results if we don’t get out there and make an effort to accomplish our own agendas.