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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration

Penn State Students: Are We Really So Apathetic?

I could just be naive, but I just don’t buy the line that Penn State students are exceptionally apathetic. Even with a highly diverse and unfortunately fractured student body of roughly 42,000, there still exist more than 1,000 student organizations registered on campus.

Students are involved in social and political activism outside the classroom, and Penn State students are responsible for more good across the Commonwealth and later across the globe than can easily be recounted here or in any other single location.

It’s true that turnout for local State College borough elections is pathetic. Last year, only about 150 students voted downtown. That’s pathetic. It’s pathetic. I’ll say it again: that’s pathetic. If students here need to do any one thing better, it’s learn to think of State College as your home rather than just a home away from home. Register to vote locally and actually make it to the polls on election day.

This is our town, and if we voted in large numbers, we would own this small town like we should already. For years the Borough Council has been pushing us around like cattle to the slaughter.  It’s far past time for students to wake up and become more civically engaged in this area. Hopefully UPUA can help facilitate such a change, though it’s hard to combat a mindset.

Anyway, I digress. Aside from local borough politics, I think most Penn State students are generally aware of what’s going on around campus, and do their fare share to make good things happen. As far as things like student government go, we can only expect more votes from students and more appreciation once we actually accomplish positive things on their behalf.

Why vote for students who are part of an organization that hasn’t even proven itself, let alone for students that don’t yet have any real power to effect that kind of positive change? If I weren’t naturally inclined to care about politics in general, I know that I wouldn’t give a damn about UPUA or the petty chicanery coming out of Dr. Vicky Triponey’s office in Old Main.

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