Stay politically engaged every day

Lobby Day should not be seen as a one-day storming of the palace.

Today, students, alumni and general supporters of all four University campuses will rally at the Capitol on Maroon and Gold Day with the purpose of making the University’s presence known. You are encouraged to attend also. Lobby Day should not be seen as a one-day storming of the palace but as part of the regular routine for students and for others as an introduction into a regular routine.

Sadly, most University students simply are not involved in the political process, even on the basic level of informing their representatives of their concerns. Letter-writing, e-mails, phone calls and even personal visits are ways students can put daily pressure on.

As it is, Lobby Day is seen as a nonevent by many legislators. Rallies at the Capitol are held almost every day. Constant contact, rather than a blip in the radar, is a much-more-effective way of understanding the political process and making politicians recognize your concerns.

This is not to dismiss Lobby Day; it’s a good start. But representatives are more likely to listen if concerns are repeated to them a few times.

Students need to get more involved on a personal level. Lobby Day is a good introduction to the process of meeting with their representatives. Whether those concerns be tuition, an on-campus football stadium or some matter unrelated to the University, it is important that young Americans begin to open up the law-making process.

A larger issue, focusing on how we define democracy, is at stake. The difference is between whether democracy is defined as simply electing a representative, who is then unbeholden to the electorate, or as a collective action by the people for the purpose of the greater good.

Attending Lobby Day is a nice and needed show of solidarity. If you can attend, it is encouraged you do so. If you cannot, contacting a state legislator is not as intimidating and imposing as it seems.

At stake is not only funding for the University but a larger background of citizen democracy. It takes the action of individuals to make a collective change.