Letter to the Editor: U students make a difference in democratic process

Editor:

I want to take this time to thank the students for their outpouring of support for the Marriott Library during the legislative session and the months preceding it.

While the library’s building project was not funded this year, we made excellent progress in raising awareness of the library’s special needs. This is due in large part because the U students got behind this project and never lost their enthusiasm or vigor.

Associated Students of the University of Utah’s Government Relations Board and Communications Board members should be applauded for their leadership and professionalism. They effectively informed students of the library’s need for funding and engaged students in the legislative process. Not only was this essential to the library project, it was an important experiential learning process for many students who had never before made outreach to their elected officials-an important part of our democratic process.

Several students spent hours at the Capitol visiting with their elected officials and members of key committees and subcommittees. Some students were there four or five days each week.

They told legislators that funding for the library was important to them and to the U’s well-being.

Their voices were heard. And, given brighter economic times, their voices would have made the difference in whether the library was funded or not.

Students should know that their letters, phone calls, e-mails and visits did make a difference. With their participation, we are a giant step closer to receiving the funds we need to make the library safer. It’s not a question of “if”-it’s a question of “when.”

Thank you, U students, for giving it your all.

Sarah C. Michalak

Director, Marriott Library