Staff Editorial: Referendum awareness a prerequisite to change

The ignorance surrounding the upcoming vote on the Student Association referendum must come to a close if we are to hope for and expect any memorable and enjoyable college experience.

It would be a wise and easy decision to vote in favor of the mandatory student activity fee - something all students will have the opportunity to do on Knightweb at the end of March.

Though it is a common misconception that the $85 charge that appears per semester on every student's bill is not universally beneficial, it should be known that this fee affects most students on campus and off. Items that are Student Association-funded include events like Geneseo Late Knight, Activity Commission's semester concerts, Upstate Escapes, undergraduate research and travel grants and the vacation bus program; organizations such as The Lamron, GSTV, Inter-Residence Council Academic Affairs Committee; and activities including GOLD Leadership Program and club sports.

Think of campus life without Lupe Fiasco, Panama City, discounted professional sports games and (plug) something to inform you of what's going on around campus. Student life on campus would be exceedingly boring, even practically nonexistent.

For the referendum to pass, 20 percent of the Geneseo student population must vote online, with a two-thirds majority vote for approval. If students are paying several thousand dollars every semester for tuition already, the mandatory student activity fee is diminutive when comparing expenses; especially when an unforgettable college experience is on the line.

Perhaps students would be more apt to vote for the referendum if they actually knew what their SA government did for them. Many students are completely unaware of who is in their student government, and what SA does to better student life on campus.

Although candidate speeches for elections are held at Inter-Residence Council and SA meetings yearly, this event is swept under the rug and poorly advertised. Even the posters advocating the referendum vote are small and scarce. By holding candidate speeches in the Union ballroom and advertising all they do a little more, maybe more students would understand the impact SA has on everyone's four years here.

Regardless of living on campus or off, SA funds directly affect each student and legitimately help bring amazing programs to this college. However, voting in the referendum to keep the mandatory student fee is the only way this will continue. Do your part; vote to keep your Geneseo experience a truly memorable one.