It's All About Balance
Photo Credit Melanie Stout
It’s All About Balance
By Alyssa Kratochvil
Some believe there are two sides to every story and that things are never one sided; right and wrong, heads or tales, love and hate. However, we don't live in a perfect world and sometimes things are completely one sided. This seems to be the case here at University Arkansas-- Fort Smith. While the school offers a well-rounded number of student organizations representing all types of student interests, there is one area that seems one sided; or should I say right sided? The political section consists of just one student organization, to my shock and dismay, the College Republicans.
How can it be that a college trying to progress into a modern, competitive, higher-learning establishment is missing the democratic yin to the republican yang? With this being an election year, one would think now, more than ever, is a prime opportunity to represent both sides in order to showcase democracy at its finest. I don't care much for politics; however, what I do care about is each political party getting their chance to be heard so the students of University of Arkansas Fort Smith can have a choice and make an educated decision. How can they do this if there is no outlet for those who wish to seek other options and answers that are not of the republican affiliation?
What are the reasons that the school doesn’t have a College Democrat organization or any other political organization for that matter? Well, according to Dave Stevens, of the Student Activities Office, the Young Democrat Organization, as it was deemed, is inactive at this time. Lack of filing the proper paperwork to become a Recognized Student Organization (RSO) appears to be the culprit. Is insufficient paperwork the only thing standing in the way? Perhaps answer is that everyone attending UAFS is a republican? As ludicrous as that may sound, it is no worse than the thought that the students of UAFS do not care enough to take the steps to form a democratic student organization. The RSO handbook states there must be at least 25 student signatures to petition for active status; that is 25 out of the 7,587 enrolled students recorded for this semester. This does not sound like a daunting task. My last thought came down to the advisor. Are there no teachers willing to advise a democratic organization? Perhaps putting themselves in a position where their political preference is laid bare or even scrutinized is a risk no one is willing to take? If that is not the case, what is?
The University of Arkansas Fort Smith student organizations are a place for all students of all backgrounds to be represented. If there is no other political organization other than the College Republicans then we, as students, are doing ourselves an injustice. Everyone needs an outlet for their voice to be heard now more than ever. If we don’t change things who will?