Yes, Wildcats, it’s that time of the year again, when campaign signs inundate campus, and hopeful WSUSA executive candidates persuade students to vote for them with free swag or junk food.

Who doesn’t enjoys free stuff, right? Here’s the thing though—the free stuff shouldn’t be the only reason you choose to vote for a candidate. Students, it is time to stop what you are doing, take a moment to read about those who have chosen to run for a position in Weber State’s student government and decide who is going to push for changes and will work to keep conditions that are best for you and your college career.

This is the the week—the moment—to raise your voice and be heard on your university campus. Voting is the first step, and it’s a critical lesson in civic engagement, which our generation should be participating in far more often.

The 2015-2016 executive candidates were featured in The Signpost’s March 16 issue, and if you combined all their bios to make a word cloud, the largest words would be “involved” and “students” because that is the main message behind WSUSA—student involvement.

However, in last years elections, only 1,315 students voted. With an estimated 28,000 students, 1,315 votes is a shameful turnout. Especially when it is as easy as logging into your Weber portal, choosing the candidate that best meets your interests and clicking the box by their name.

So what’s the deal? If you’re one of the students who doesn’t think student government effects your college career or you just don’t care, you must take a step back and think again. WSU’s student government make changes to university policies and the campus environment. Depending on the type of student you are, you might really like them, or you might really hate them, but you will undeniably be affected by them. So why not find out before candidates are elected and vote for the one that will push for the things you want out of your college experience?

Just to name a few you might or might not be knowledgeable about, WSUSA is responsible for the expansion of the Weber Cares food pantry, the growing popularity of the Nearly Naked Mile 5k that produces significant donations to the Weber Cares pantry, the recent math policy that now allows students to tackle math whenever they choose, the Wildcat center gym that was unveiled last year and countless other student codes.

WSUSA doesn’t just making changes to policy and campus either. They create fun, entertaining and educational opportunities for students to participate in that help to enlighten each student’s college career, such as the American Democracy Project, Collegiate Readership Program, Taboo Talks and Convocations. All four of these programs allow students the opportunity to get involved behind the scenes or merely enjoy and benefits of what they bring to campus.

Another thing you might not realize is that anyone can become part of the WSU student government. It is a great way to learn about your university, grow a multitude of skills for your future, make a difference and even get some of your tuition paid for. All you have to do is walk through the doors of the Student Involvement Center and ask how. But for today, just vote for the current election because every vote literally counts.

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