An informed citizenry benefits individuals and society at large

By By Chronicle Senior Staff

By Chronicle Senior Staff

An uneducated electorate is one of the greatest problems for a democracy. Unfortunately, this problem faces us today.

Sadly, it is not that places of higher education, such as the U, are faltering in their efforts to educate students. Similarly, the media are doing all they can to put forth information for citizens.

The problem of our currently uneducated citizenry cannot be blamed on schools or news outlets. These groups are desperately trying to hand out information-it’s just that their offerings are falling on deaf ears.

The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of lazy citizens who can’t be bothered to find out if weapons of mass destruction were ever really found in Iraq. The problem is people who don’t care if their state representatives are wasting taxpayer dollars by spending precious time during this legislative session debating scientific theory-when few, if any of them, actually have an educational background in science.

The responsibility of learning about civics and society belongs to every single individual alone-and some people clearly are not taking advantage of the opportunities afforded them to learn about their world.

At the end of the day, how many copies of The Daily Utah Chronicle, The New York Times, The Salt Lake Tribune and USA Today remain in their news bins? How many Hinckley Forums were held without every seat being filled? These newspapers and events are free to students, yet many feel that they are learning enough just by going to class and doing their assignments.

There is more to life, though, than earning a degree simply so you can make more money some day.

Right now, there is controversy over a proposed bill that would end in-state tuition for undocumented students. For the past few weeks, students have written in with their opinions for and against House Bill 7-and more than a few made statements about the bill that were uninformed and got the facts all wrong.

As if this weren’t bad enough, when The Chronicle posted an online poll to gauge student reactions to HB 7, the clear winner was option No. 4: I don’t even know what HB 7 is.

Students have a moral imperative to learn about the world around them. Regardless of what your ultimate opinions turn out to be, the process of learning about proposed laws, foreign politics, social problems, etc., will be valuable to you as a citizen and therefore to our society as a whole.