The Kentucky gubernatorial has passed and newly elected Republican Ernie Fletcher is preparing to take over the seat, after more than 30 years of Democrats in the governor’s mansion. Now the election for new leadership is closer to home for Northern Kentucky University students.
For the next two days, Nov. 12-13, students have the opportunity to elect new senators to the Student Government Association, the students who will represent the student body and the needs of the university both on campus and in Frankfort.
“SGA makes decisions that will effect us on campus everyday,” R.J. Simpkins, president for the NKU College Democrats said. Simpkins pointed out that tuition at NKU is increasing as is enrollment, yet only approximately four percent of the student population voted in the last SGA election.
Simpkins said people depend on elected officials, both on and off campus, to make decisions that affect their lives. “It does affect you right now. It won’t wait until you graduate,” he said.
While Simpkins would have preferred to have Democratic candidate Ben Chandler in the governor’s mansion, he said Fletcher did a better job of engaging his voter base and getting them to the polls, which made all the difference.
Sheree Davis, current SGA senator and also up for re-election, agreed that people getting out to vote is essential to the democratic process. She said politicians, in general, have a vested interest in catering to the needs of those groups who vote for them. “With politics, it’s ‘show me’,” she said. “Show me you care and I’ll show you I care. We need to show unity within the school so we can show this unity in Frankfort,” she said.
Davis said the best way to do this is by supporting SGA and voting for the senators you believe in. “NKU is seen as a commuter school rather than a real, solid university. One reason is because students aren’t backing SGA,” she said. “If you take the attitude ‘why vote, it doesn’t matter,’ they (state lawmakers) are going to take the same attitude, ‘why care about NKU, it doesn’t matter.'”
“Voting is a responsibility you have as a citizen, a choice you have as a person,” Davis said.
“People have no right to complain about the way our government is if they don’t enact their right to vote.”
Students can vote in the SGA election in University Center and Norse Commons and online via links at the www.nku.edu or http://studenthome.nku.edu/~sga.