As a BYU student, many things are competing for your valuable time. There is homework to do, tests to prepare for, relationships to keep up with, internships to complete, among other things. Involvement in community and national affairs might be at the bottom of your priority list. Even if you would like to be more involved, finding time for it may just seem impossible – and you’re not alone in this feeling.
The biggest reason why registered voters ages 18-29 ultimately did not vote in 2010 was because they felt like they were too busy, according to an analysis by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University.
Even if you happen to have the time, you might still ask yourself a question we posed in a past article, “Why should I pay attention to elections?” Millenials have been labeled as “self absorbed” and “greedy,” but statistically, they are also better educated than any other generation to date. As a college student yourself, you’ve learned crucial skills that make you an invaluable member of the community. College students understand, perhaps more than others, that decisions lead directly to results. They also see the importance of finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems.
Our most recent Connections magazine quoted Cynthia Kuta, a BYU student enrolled in the Civic Engagement minor saying, “We can sit around and complain, but nothing will happen until we get involved. That is what civic engagement is, it is making a difference, and taking action.” Whether that involvement means casting a vote for a preferred politician or presenting a proposal to city council, millenials have an important role to play.
The LDS Church Handbook of Instruction reads, “Members should do their civic duty by supporting measures that strengthen society morally, economically, and culturally. Members are urged to be actively engaged in worthy causes to improve their communities and make them wholesome places in which to live and rear families.”
An upcoming event hosted by the Office of Civic Engagement will give students an opportunity to learn more about why millenials should care, from someone who deals with community affairs on a daily basis. Stephen Kroes, president of the Utah Foundation, will deliver his lecture titled “Millenials: Voting + Quality of Life” on Thursday, March 10th at 11:00 am in room 3714 of the HBLL.
Stephen Kroes is president of The Utah Foundation, a nonprofit research organization promoting a thriving economy and a high quality of life for Utahns. Mr. Kroes serves as a member of the Utah Economic Council, the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors, the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors, the Governor’s Commission on Education Excellence, and the Prosperity 2020 Founders Council.
Thursday, March 10th 11:00am HBLL 3714
Photo courtesy of pixabay.