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March 14, 2014

The United States: the land of freedom and civic responsibilities.

We get a lot of privileges in the U.S., many of which we do not really appreciate until we consider not having them.

Let’s take voting for example. Many U.S. citizens do not vote. That is their choice. But think for a moment if we did not get to vote. The people in the government would just decide who would rule the country.

Or perhaps the ruler of our fair nation would be the one with the biggest army or amount of nuclear weapons. Would we miss voting for positions in government? You had better believe it. Although it may not feel like we contribute a whole lot by casting our vote, not having that right would be devastating.

Voting is both our right and our responsibility. Perhaps you have heard the saying, “if you don’t vote, don’t complain.” This can be true of many of our responsibilities. We have the ability to do something, but many of us do not act on it. We have the right to bear arms (that is guns, people, not the furry arms of a bear). But because we are not in Texas, most of us do not own any sort of firearms.

As citizens of a country, we have rights and responsibilities. This makes us different from the people of other countries. We are not subjects whose lives are influenced by the whims of a hierarchy ruler.

Since you are reading this, you are probably a college student or someone involved in the college environment. We have the honor, or the responsibility, to be involved in our college life. This could take various forms.

One form is reading the Student Voice and thus staying up to date on college events. Another form is joining one of the numerous clubs here on campus. This option is a great way to make new friends, have some fun and maybe even learn a little. The final way is by going to the administrative meetings.

I am going be completely honest here. Administrative meetings are not the most interesting events in the world, unless you are into parliamentarian-style meetings or politics. Then they are a blast!

However, to the average person, discussions over minute details and making movements for every action are less than entertaining. Frankly, unless it pertains directly to us, and even sometimes then, we are likely to fall asleep. Believe me, I get it. I have been to enough administrative- type meetings to know how they work.

Now, here is the important part. While these meetings may be the least entertaining of the three options I listed, and yes, there are definitely more out there, it is also the most informative. If you want to learn about what is going on at UW-River Falls, these meetings are the place to be. They deal with things that will affect you directly and they do want you there to know what is going on.

There are two kinds of distinct meetings that you could be attending. One is the Hall Council meetings. These are aimed at the students who live in the residence halls, but they serve as an important tool for hearing things from all sides of campus.

There are members who communicate with Dining Services, Residence Life and they work to provide fun events within the halls. Another more formal option is Student Senate. These meetings are open to all and offer an insight to the inner workings of the University. So if you want to get detailed information about the campus life, then that is the place to be.

But here is my point: information is important. You know the saying, “knowledge is power.” With the information that can be obtained by going to a campus administrative meeting, or even a government meeting, you can learn about things that will affect you. This can help you make changes for the better. So get involved with the administrative process; there is a lot you could be missing out on. Getting involved means getting ahead.

Senate meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the University Center.

Rachel Molitor is a student at UW-River Falls.