The value of your vote

Students will have the chance to elect Northern Iowan Student Government representatives Feb. 22-23.

Parker Daniels, Guest Columnist

Voting for student body representatives is coming up Feb. 22 and 23

Editors Note: Parker Daniels is the Chief Justice for the Northern Iowa Student Government.

One of the most asked questions that I get as a member of Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) is, “what do you guys actually do?” That is a fair question as most students see NISG as an organization only for wannabe politicians, but in all reality that is far from the truth. NISG is an organization that advocates for all UNI students both current and future. Our primary goal as an organization is to bring about lasting positive change that will impact our campus for years to come. 

The student body will elect a new group of NISG members this Tuesday and Wednesday. The students elected this week will have an opportunity to meet with various members of the university administration and work on a number of initiatives that will impact your time here at UNI. With important issues facing our campus such as mental health, student engagement and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important now than ever for student voices to be heard. By voting this week, you can increase student engagement with the issues facing the UNI community and give the next group of NISG members the support they need to advocate on your behalf. 

We have all heard how important it is to vote thousands of times throughout our lives. As students who are navigating life, trying to earn a degree and graduate, it hardly crosses our minds to vote, especially in a student government election. The truth of the matter is that voting is always important no matter what the election may be. The right to vote is the most essential part of any functioning democracy. Today in the United States, being able to vote is more or less treated as a given when that is far from the case. For the vast majority of our history, the right to vote was a right that only a few had, and even today there continues to be a large concentrated effort to prevent people from accessing the ballot box. 

Being able to vote is a right that many have fought and died for us to have and that is why it should not be treated as a given but should be practiced at every level, especially a student government election at a university. 

Voting at its core is the ability to create change whether big or small or good or bad. Voting is an opportunity to have your voice heard and amazing things can happen when you vote. For us here at UNI, this is evident by some of the work that NISG has been able to accomplish for students in the past. For example, the Meditation Room that was established in Maucker Union or the establishment of free menstrual products through the work of NISG could not have been done without student support at the ballot box. The impact that NISG can have across campus is limitless when backed by a passionate student body. Regardless of your involvement on campus or your passion for UNI, I encourage you to vote in the Northern Iowa Student Government Elections this Tuesday and Wednesday! 

You can vote in the student government elections through MyUniverse under the [email protected] tab!