Get out and protest

By By Chronicle Senior Staff

By Chronicle Senior Staff

For anyone who ever wanted to know what it was like to live during the ’60s-now is your chance.

Yesterday, a group of 40 to 50 U students marched on the State Capitol to protest various issues. Among these issues were bills that would require parental consent for minors seeking an abortion, remove the in-state tuition waiver made available to undocumented immigrants and modify the criminal code in regard to hate crimes.

Not all of the students were on the same sides of the debates, but that doesn’t matter. The key is that they were exercising their constitutional rights. They were getting involved in the process and fulfilling their duties as citizens. They sparked debate, a fact evidenced when members of the Utah Minute Men organization followed them from the City and County Building to the Capitol, snapping their pictures as they marched.

These students from all over campus joined together for various reasons to actively engage in democracy. The Student Activist Movement, a joint organization of eight student groups on campus, should be commended for organizing this protest.

Even though the organized protest is over, students should continue to exercise their right of petitioning government by contacting their state legislators until the end of the 45-day session. Students should find out what issues are facing the Legislature this session and make their opinions known.

Regardless of the issue or the stance one takes on it, our government only functions when all members of society are enthusiastically participating.

Even after the session concludes, students need to continue to be politically active. Only when legislators feel that their job security is being affected will they be receptive to what people have to say. By being an educated member of the electorate, you automatically make yourself that much more likely to get your voice heard.

In all honesty, some state legislators aren’t going to listen to anyone who doesn’t have a “lobbyist” sticker on his or her nametag. The sad fact is that many legislators are so sure of their own infallibility that they are often unwilling to listen to their constituents’ opinions.

Nevertheless, these students are to be commended for taking the first step in the right direction-and other students should follow in their footsteps.