Student voting critical for University’s future

Alex Hellweg - University student

As a student, IâÄôm concerned that not enough attention is being paid this election season to significant issues affecting Minnesotans.
Tuition has skyrocketed in the past 10 years, and last yearâÄôs seniors graduated with 30 percent more debt than those graduating just six years ago.
I was incredibly proud that in 2008, there was record youth voting turnout across the nation and that Minnesota set the standard with the highest percentage of youth voters. But this year, for the election of our new governor, our issues are even more at stake, and itâÄôs all the more important that we make our voices heard. We care about investment in higher education, protecting our environment, ensuring our access to entry-level jobs and making sure that equal rights are afforded to everyone.
The student body has to make itself heard against a candidate who wants to further cut University of Minnesota funding and raise tuition until education becomes a luxury afforded to only a limited few. We need a governor who is willing to invest in our education system so that students can graduate without facing crippling debt. The governor needs to be willing to invest in job creation so that we have a future to look forward to when we graduate.
There is a lot at stake in the election. But the choice we face is not just between candidates but between voting and apathy. The student body needs to make its voice heard so that anyone trying to continue to cut the UniversityâÄôs budget and to favor unfairly the upper class will hear us loud and clear.
Please take the time to get to know the candidates and their stances on important issues in the next five weeks, and vote on Nov. 2. Our future is at stake, nothing less.