Post Classifieds

It is Time for Student Suffrage

By John Kleinhans
On March 1, 2012


This upcoming Tuesday each town in the state of Vermont will hold its annual Town Meeting Day where residents will vote on a number of pressing issues affecting their surrounding communities.

Thousands of Vermonters will spend the day sitting in their local schools or municipal buildings approving town budgets, discussing town expenditures and even vote upon United States constitutional amendments.

This is pure democracy in action and is fairly uncommon in the day that we live in. Every student has an opportunity to attend these town meetings in your respective areas. Each of our residential students has the unique chance to participate in the town meeting right here in Lyndonville due to a law that allows college students to register to vote out of their college dorm.

As most of you know, I'm a numbers guy. I enjoy crunching the political numbers to see what type of solution we can come up with. There are roughly 5,500 residents in the town of Lyndon. At a typical town meeting day, there are 300 residents in attendance. At Lyndon State College there are roughly 750 students who live on campus and about 300 students who currently live in town. So, in theory, we could wind up being the majority and essentially take over the town. My friend and former Critic editor Sam Monroe wrote a piece on this last year about the same time detailing that if we wind up registering students to vote, that we could in fact hold elected office and put our input into issues that affect you and me every day.

Last week I dug pretty deep into the student body about the lack of commitment and huge level of apathy that most students delivered towards our fight for lower tuition. This opportunity is right at the bottom of the hill. I currently sit on the Developmental Review Board in Lyndonville, and it has been an incredible opportunity so far. As a member of this board, I was able to vote on expansion of businesses and sign ordinances that can change the shape of the community that we live in.

Let me state it simply; get involved in your community. This upcoming Tuesday at Lyndon Town School, you can at least come watch the process and go from there to get involved in local government.  I would urge every single student at Lyndon to attend the Town Meeting at 9am, and I promise you that you will not be disappointed. 

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