COLUMN: Why Should You Care?
Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2013 01:10
Overheard in the Rat on Tuesday morning, between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.:
“I hate the hand soap in our new dorm. It’s not scented. Why doesn’t BC buy scented hand soap?”
“The lid on my coffee cup will just not stay on this morning.”
“I really don’t like this bandeau under this shirt. It just doesn’t feelright.”
Forgive me for being yet another writer to fall prey to the overuse of hashtags, but it’s begging to be said: #firstworldproblems.
On Tuesday, our government shut down for the first time in 20 years.
I sat, eavesdropping on fellow students and peers for close to three hours on Tuesday morning—and didn’t hear a single word about the state of our political system.
Now, maybe I was posted up at an unfortunate table. Maybe political chatter was buzzing all over campus, and I just missed it.
Maybe just no one cares.
And you know what? I don’t blame you.
Truth is, all of Washington is in quite the financial pickle, and nothing in our BC Bubble changed. The biggest scare we faced this week was the potential cancelation of our Homecoming football game vs. Army on Saturday.
When Congress starts messing with day-drinking opportunities, that’s when you know it’s real.
The city of Boston is about to be in a full political upheaval.
Governor Deval Patrick is not seeking another term. Ed Davis, who has served as Boston’s Police Chief Commissioner for the past seven years, announced his resignation last week. Mayor Thomas M. Menino has been in office longer than some of us at BC have been alive. This is the first time the city will be led by a new man in 20 years.
The election is a month from Saturday.
The city we call home for the duration of our time at BC is going through one of the biggest shifts in political power of this century.
And guess what? For the overwhelming majority of you, there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.
According to our official University demographics, only 25 percent of the student body enrolled at BC in 2012 was from the state of Massachusetts. Of that 25 percent, how many are residents of the city of Boston?
Did you know the grounds of BC actually span two cities? The Newton town line runs directly through Lower Campus. So, even if you did make the effort to register in Mass., your voting district depends on your exact residence.
As an aspiring journalist, it’s my job to know what’s going on in the world. As the Metro editor of The Heights, it’s my job to know what’s going on in Boston. I wish I could tell you it’s your job to know all this too—but I can’t because it’s not. (Which, frankly, I’m okay with, because that means I probably wouldn’t have this job, and I really like this job.)
Which brings me to the question of this column: Why should you care?
Will the next Boston mayor change the leaky coffee cups in the Rat, or make your clothes fit better? No.
But they will determine BC’s ability to remodel campus. They will make the laws that will be in place when you graduate and potentially stay in Boston. They will be in charge of one of the most popular cities in the country, a place that happens to be a few stops down the Green Line.
What can you do about it?
Well, for those of you that can vote, vote. You have the ability to make a difference. Do not let it pass you by.
For those of you that can’t, all I ask is that you care—just a little bit. Know enough to be educated about what’s going on in the place you currently call home.
Because to be frank, it’s pretty damn important.