We came to the University of Texas at Austin because of what the Longhorn represents – opportunity. Our community makes us the #1 university in Texas. This university chose us because of the individual potential we possess. We came here to achieve our degree, land our dream job, and live the future that we envisioned for ourselves. Our student government has the ability to enhance student activity, utilize resources, and ultimately empower students. Yet, our government is failing to do so.
Our student elections only receive votes from 7% of our student population. Why?
Our student election process allows for candidates to campaign for two weeks with only one public event listed – the candidate debate. This debate received less than 500 views (< 0.01% of the student population) on its YouTube live. The election process makes it nearly impossible for students to become fully aware of the candidates and the platforms they are advocating for, but let’s imagine if it did. Imagine if students could voice their opinions with strength toward the candidates they believe would best represent their voice. We would not only be more in-tune with the biggest campus issues, but we would have a better understanding of how to fix them.
As students, we want the best college experience possible that will improve our professional, academic, and social life. Empowering students begins with giving them opportunities. Our campus is located in the center of the #2 job market in America. Those jobs should be coming straight to our campus because students are a hot commodity for companies. But, how can we do this? By developing our student organizations into network hubs for outside companies to guest-speak at, contribute to, and provide resources for students.
Also, our Student Government has a budget of $112,820. We can use this huge reserve of cash to strengthen our organizations on campus. We can fund events that allow students to obtain a better network and enhance their learning experience. We will be working with the administration to increase student wages to a minimum of $15 per hour. If In-N-Out can pay you that much, why can’t our university?
In my experience with Student Government as a Moody representative, Vice-chair of the finance committee, and a member of the endowment board, I was able to gather a holistic view of the challenges students face while attending this university. Being an adult is tough. Many of us must work to afford to live the student life we came here for. We take out loans because it’s the only option we have to obtain a higher education. We do our best to manage our time, money, and relationships, so we can have the future success that we envision for ourselves. I know this personally from first-hand experience.
Raymond Vasquez, my running mate, and I are experiencing the same difficulties as you are. As students, we want to have fun, achieve our degree, and push ourselves into the career that we desire. We need a Student Body President and VP who understands how difficult student life can be. We need to ensure that our system fuels students to succeed. We need students to vote.
Go vote on Monday, February 28 @12:01am to March 1 @5pm.
A higher voter turnout signals unity.
A higher voter turnout shows our collective potential.
A higher voter turnout voices our desire for better opportunities.
Resources can be found below to learn more.