Last Friday, Gov. Dave Heineman visited Chadron State to promote his view of how college students today can make an impact on the future of the state and country.
With college costs going up, employment uncertainty after graduation, student loan debts, and other personal issues, students came out to speak with the governor about those problems and possible solutions. The governor addressed these concerns in-depth. He also answered questions on tough issues like “ObamaCare,” taxes, the Heartland Expressway, and the Keystone XL pipeline.
This important event was organized by the CSC Student Senate. Most senators showed up for the dinner Thursday night in the Sandoz Center, but only six showed up to hear the governor Friday afternoon. It seems a good buffet ranks higher than a visit from our state’s top leader.
When asked for comment on the CSC student senators’ attendance, Student Senate Vice President James Bahensky wrote in a statement, “While every senator strives to represent the student body to the best of their ability, it must be understood that they themselves are students as well. Several of our senators have classes during this time, and others have jobs that did not allow them to devote to the conference.”
It’s easier to be excused from a class to attend an event than it is to enroll in one.
Representatives from Peru and Wayne state colleges drove seven hours to be here, but it seems CSC’s senators couldn’t ask their professors if they could miss class. Work is understandable, but even students with part-time and even full-time jobs attended.
How can these individuals, with their apparent apathy and laziness, expect to be taken seriously as the leaders of tomorrow? They won’t be, and they won’t be excused for such behavior either.
Leadership requires the sacrifice of self-interest, but most of our student leaders are unwilling to make the committment to lead.
As for the rest of the student body, it’s a shame that so few students attended. Out of a campus of about 3,000 less than 20 showed up.
This apathy needs to stop. Participating in government may not be as fun as a basketball game or as tasty as a fancy buffet, but it’s our right and duty as students, citizens, and leaders of tomorrow.