As many of us are Mississippi State University students, we are aware of the occasional prompt to participate in polls directly affecting us as a student body.
For example, some of you may know when last semester a poll was released asking students for their thoughts on the grading scale at MSU. The poll asked students if they thought the grading system should be changed or remain the same (i.e. should a 92 remain an A or should a 92 be an A-). While such a grading scale may still be implemented, having a negative student response may deter such an occurrence.
Being able to have your voice heard is also an important part of the MSU experience and is one of the many things separating college from high school. In high school, the people responsible for making decisions affecting the students were members of a school board. Rarely, if ever, did students have the opportunity to give an input about what they thought was the right course of action.
Sure, many schools had people with the titles of "Senior Class President" and other members of a student government, but when it came to larger decisions like uniforms or grading scales, those were left to other people.
Jacoba Urist of The Atlantic discusses the importance of students giving their opinions about matters directly affecting them. Urist explains many students would prefer to have a say in important matters, and many of the mistakes students would make in voting are the same adults make.
For instance, only focusing on trivial matters like cafeteria food and homework. However, many adults only express the importance of cutting taxes, and do not think about how to cut the taxes or why it would help or hurt the economy.
Voting in college is also a way to be involved that is beneficial to both the students and the administrators. It gives students an indirect way of communicating with the administrators responsible for putting different policies in place.
For example, a poll was recently released asking students a few questions, one of which asked if students living in the dorms would prefer if laundry costs be added to the cost of housing, or if students should continue to pay $1.50 to wash, and $1.50 to dry their clothes. Some students may have enough financial aid to cover the extra costs, and they may see it as a cheaper and more effective way of paying for laundry if the costs were added to their housing.
However, if a student is from Starkville, or somewhere nearby, they may prefer to wash their clothes at home, and adding laundry to the cost of housing could be an unnecessary expense for them. Some may also fear they will be overcharged for laundry expenses if they do not wash clothes as often as other people.
All of these are important factors to take into consideration, and being informed about things like this and voicing your opinions and concerns is important because ultimately, decisions made about on-campus policies can affect both your grades and your wallet.