Editorial: Let’s vote to reaffirm UConn student power!

It’s important to vote in favor of The Daily Campus, UConnPIRG and SUBOG in order to support everything they do for UConn and its students. (Photo by Eric Wang/The Daily Campus)

It’s important to vote in favor of The Daily Campus, UConnPIRG and SUBOG in order to support everything they do for UConn and its students. (Photo by Eric Wang/The Daily Campus)

Student input across any college campus is vital, as it provides us with a voice to advocate for our preferred campuswide representatives, events and organizations. Alongside the candidates for our annual USG elections, it is critical that we vote for The Daily Campus and UConnPIRG’s respective fee reaffirmations and for SUBOG’s proposed fee increase this week.

Since 1896, The Daily Campus has delivered news independently to UConn students and faculty each weekday. Its ability to produce physical and online content is rare among student-run campus news publications today, illustrating its members’ incredible dedication and newspapers’ sustained relevance in the modern era.

Besides reporting on typical local and on-campus news and sports stories in professional and stellar fashion, The Daily Campus provides students with a safe platform for free and creative expression through its opinion and life sections. Even those who are not as inclined to demonstrate their journalistic writing ability can contribute to—and earn financial compensation from—The Daily Campus’s success; this might involve taking photos and videos, assembling physical and online graphical layouts or editing others’ drafts. Ultimately, The Daily Campus fairly and accurately reports on relevant topics of student interest, allows us to question the world around us, and provides an invaluable stepping stone for aspiring full-time journalists.

While The Daily Campus reports on local and campuswide happenings, UConnPIRG allows us to act upon them and generate newsworthy successes. For over 45 years, this statewide, student-directed, student-funded, nonprofit, nonpartisan student advocacy organization has worked on important issues in an effort to benefit UConn students and society as a whole. Recent victories include, but are not limited to, registering over 2,000 UConn students to vote prior to 2018’s midterm elections, convincing Congress to designate $5 million dollars of 2018’s fiscal budget toward making textbooks more affordable and persuading UConn Dining Services and Mansfield to enact single-use plastic bag bans. UConnPIRG facilitates such notable accomplishments by allocating the funding from its $5 per-student, per-semester waivable fee toward professional staff members, who train organizational members on the ground and by pooling resources with other ConnPIRG chapters.

Statewide and national lobbyists, lawyers, and other advocates further strengthen UConnPIRG’s ability to effect positive, significant change. Regardless of your major and interests, UConnPIRG can devise an appropriate application for your abilities and desires, offering terrific volunteer and internship opportunities within and beyond the confines of your UConn tenure. To recap, UConnPIRG provides an outstanding outlet for those yearning to develop leadership skills, actively display their passion for critical issues and create a meaningful future prior to graduation.

Whereas The Daily Campus and UConnPIRG encourage high levels of student engagement regarding vital social issues, SUBOG organizes UConn’s more leisurely, entertainment-focused activities. As UConn’s largest student-run organization, its greatest claim to fame is attracting major performers, comedians and speakers and hosting traditional campuswide events (e.g. Homecoming, weekly film screenings at the Student Union Theatre, the Food Truck Festival on Fairfield Way and One Ton Sundae). Although a vast majority of these offerings are free for UConn students, SUBOG is proposing a $1 per-semester fee increase in order to significantly lower individual ticket costs for its events (particularly for its more expensive ones, like the annual fall and spring concerts).

In short, we must vote in favor of The Daily Campus, UConnPIRG and SUBOG in order to support their remarkable contributions and preserve student power on campus. Please visit https://vote.uconn.edu/ between today at noon and March 7 at noon and vote yes for all of these impactful student-run organizations.