Editorial: College involvement in election vital

Students must vote for both ASSP and nation

Editorial Board

As both the Associated Students of Seattle Pacific (ASSP) and national presidential elections cast a shadow over Seattle Pacific University, it is important to historically examine student political involvement, both at SPU and across the United States.  

Youth movements in the 60s and 70s took the form of anti-segregationist, anti-war and feminist movements. These were prominent, especially in cities with large colleges like Seattle, and were spearheaded by young college students who saw opportunities for change and progress. One vital component these activists sought to bring about was community engagement. Today, that is exactly what is needed, both at SPU and across the US.

Becoming politically active is an integral part of knowing and participating in a community. Seattle has its host of problems that the city must address, like homelessness, rent costs and job security, and it cannot do so without the community’s voices — without votes.

This is certainly the case on the national level. If a population has the desire to be represented, one somewhat reliable avenue of attaining this is through voting, and the same principle applies to students at SPU. The community must become more involved and have a desire to be represented.

ASSP does not merely need votes, but also active participation. ASSP Core is not simply responsible for club funding — although this is one of many of ASSP’s responsibilities. It acts as a conduit for students to communicate with the administration of SPU, as evidenced by the ongoing process of changing the Statement on Human Sexuality. 

Although positions on ASSP Core, separate from its other peripheral positions, are largely filled, only one position on core is contested, that being the position of University Ministries Coordinator. Within the 2019-2020 year, several positions for academic senators lay vacant. Next year, the same will be true.

Even though political activity around elections is generally higher and more tense, it can set a precedent for the future involvement of the student body. If students are talking about real issues on campus, ASSP representatives, although somewhat limited in power, can bring these issues to light in the administration and among faculty. 

In last year’s ASSP election, only 21.83% of students voted. That number reflects apathy and lack of care for the campus community.

Voting is the bare minimum that democratic participation asks for.

If students care about clubs, then they should not only vote in ASSP elections, but also run. For SPU students, the ASSP elections are like local elections. 

Again, the same is true for national elections. This upcoming election will set the tone for the next four years and will dictate how the nation handles itself and handles the international community. 

To vote is to show willingness for change. 

Seattle Pacific University’s students will always be changing, for the better and for the worse at times. But to take representation away from students and to show apathy for a vital connection to the school administration is a surefire way of sowing the seeds of apathy towards on-campus issues.