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Editorial: Hit the polls

Published: Monday, March 5, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 10:03


Rising tuition prices in this tough economy have created a hostile environment for college students, especially those attending the University of Rhode Island, where state funds are dwindling and higher education always seems to be facing new cuts.

Many students have taken the opportunity to have their voices heard. Some students turned to "occupy" the Quadrangle in protest of tuition cuts. Another student is lobbying to stop cuts to services that politicians see little resistance in removing.

Some student groups are out this week to encourage participation in democracy, both at the campus level with this week's Student Senate elections and at the local, state and federal levels where groups such as the College Democrats are helping register students to vote.

Moreover, plans are in the works to bus URI students to the State House on March 22 for a hearing on tuition costs. If you feel passionate about an issue such as your tuition, involving yourself in the democratic process is a way to make your voice heard. If you are an out-of-state student and you think your voice doesn't count, think again. Voting laws in Rhode Island allow anyone who has maintained residency at one address for more than 30 days to register to vote in town and state elections. If you are a registered voter, then your opinion will matter more to state legislators.

If you have never voted in an election before, you can start this week by voting in the Student Senate elections Wednesday and Thursday. If you found that process to be simple, then set your sites on the November general election.

You have the chance to make your voice heard if you hold politicians accountable for their actions. If you don't like how things are going, apathy is not a tool of change. You have the right to have your voice heard, now use it. Get out and vote and create the change you want to see.

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