Our generation is tired. We have been beaten down. Budget cuts to higher education across the country have left college students disenchanted. Now the apathy regarding constantly rising tuition, decreasing college budgets and the inability of politicians to serve student needs is starting to reach our newsroom.
Nonetheless, The Daily Evergreen Editorial Board is willing to shake off this apathy one more time. The state Legislature started a special session this week. We ask you all to join us in expressing outrage by writing, calling or outright traveling to visit with our legislators.
“Students should go on the war path,” Rep. Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, said.
The Daily Evergreen Editorial Board agrees with Seaquist’s quote. To shake off this collective apathy, it is time to get mad. We need to make sure Olympia understands that we will not take this anymore.
We are at a pivotal point. The future of our economy may very well depend on our generation. As we continue graduating, we are expected to go out into the job market and earn jobs or create new ones ourselves through our youthful innovation. Furthermore, we are asked to stimulate the economy through shopping, just like everyone else. But we cannot do these things if we are buried up to our necks in student debt.
Legislators in Olympia and other state capitols must recognize this fact. Action taken now will not be felt in the immediate future, but five to ten years from now it will. The question is: Will the outcomes be positive or negative? That will depend on what type of action our legislators take, and whether or not we students are the ones who help remind them of what the right thing to do is.
While Rep. Susan Fagan, R-Pullman, said email is the easiest way to contact her about issues, state senator Rodney Tom advised against using the normal mass emails that groups use to voice their grievances.
“That’s a waste,” Tom said. “Tell me how it’s personally affecting them. If their idea of constituent email is just hitting the forward button, don’t waste your time. Write your personal experience. Call me. Come down to Olympia.”
You heard the state senator, it is time to Occupy Olympia. It is time get innovative with our criticism.
We also echo Tom’s criticism of cookie-cutter emails. We deal with those all the time. You know what happens to those? We yawn, skip through them quickly and then often delete them without a second thought.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease. That phrase is generally used with a negative connotation, but there is a reason why that wheel squeaks. It is because there is something wrong and it needs fixing. We need to become like the squeaky wheel, but instead of squeaking, we need to roar.