Letter to the Editor: Apathetic trend alarms

A couple of weeks ago, Jodi Sweetin came to Rider to lecture about the dangers of addiction. While the topic has been brought to the forefront following the tragic death of Gary DeVercelly, many students came out just to catch a glimpse of “Stephanie Tanner.” The line to enter the BLC Theater began at the info desk, extended down to the ticket booth, looped all the way into the commuter lounge, and snaked around two or three times over.

On Thursday, April 19, Rider invited two men to come and speak to the Rider community, Ed Gillespie and Terry McAuliffe. It is not often that the immediate former chairmen of the Republican and Democratic National Committees, respectively, come to Rider. The BLC Theater was filled with community members, local leaders and Rider faculty. But where were the students? Sure, there were students present, primarily because most of them were required to attend for a class.

The sad truth is that the lack of student representation is a sign of dangerous apathy. Students flocked to see a drug-addicted, has-been child actor, but we were lucky to fill a third of the theater for the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey, Christopher Christie. We could not even fill the theater for the governor of New York last year. Political apathy is not exclusive to Rider and its students, but indicative of a nationwide epidemic.

Our nation is at a pivotal point in its relatively young life, and we stand to inherit the consequences of current policies. What happens in our government right now will affect us for decades to come. We must be the force for change. So do you need to donate hundreds of dollars to a political campaign? No. Do you need to attend rallies and hold debates? No. So, what then?

The answer is education. Here at Rider we have vast educational resources: faculty, databases, books, etc. So why don’t we utilize them? We need to educate ourselves on issues like healthcare, education, energy — what happens in the present determines the future! Before you check that ballot in 2008, find out how that check mark could affect you for the rest of your life.

— Krista Wettengel
Sophomore, Sociology

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