Students’ civic duties aren’t over

The University community must ratchet up its lobbying efforts in the state government.

Amid Tim Russert’s wipe-board mathematics and the general uncertainty of Tuesday’s presidential election, Minnesota either elected or re-elected the entire Minnesota House of Representatives.

While we sort out what the results from the larger races mean, or even the races themselves, one thing is clear: Students and other members of the University community must rachet up their lobbying efforts.

Most of the University’s issues at the State Capitol stem from the fact that we need more financial support from the state government.

Students have seen tuition skyrocket approximately 50 percent over the last three years. The University administration’s budget will call for an additional 5.5 percent tuition hike that, while not optimal, is at least an improvement. This more palatable hike is dependent on the state meeting the University’s request.

The state should also be seriously looking at supporting an on-campus football stadium. The University is a public institution. As such, our stadium proposals should take precedence over those of private, for-profit teams.

The State Legislature failed miserably in not approving a bonding bill in the spring, a failure that, like almost everything else the Legislature does lately, left the University high and dry. Hopefully, the Legislature will take up the bonding bill again and approve all of the University’s $155.5 million request.

These issues, as well as whatever specific questions each particular individual cares about, must not go away. For democracy to function, young people’s efforts must not end after putting their “I VOTED” stickers on.

Write to your state representative, new or otherwise. Write to your state senator. Write to your parent’s legislators. Write to Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Make your voice known one way or another. The future of our alma mater depends on it.