Voting can create immense change. As evidence to our current political environment, a lack of it can create more stagnation than progression.

A newfound willingness for activism and understanding has since taken hold of our country, promoting a transformation of our democracy for the betterment of our society.

With marches and protests happening seemingly every other weekend, the new call for political engagement has appeared to have awoken an otherwise sleeping dragon in the activation of many various groups across a multitude of demographics.

This has trickled down to the grassroots level. We are beginning to ask questions and realize the influence our local elections have on the changes that happen on a larger platform.

It is the Coast Report Editorial Board’s belief that even on our campus, through our inclination to create change, voting in our student government elections is integral to its advancement and progression.

With the Associated Students of Orange Coast College elections set to take place later this spring, we cannot overstate the importance and power our student government holds in determining our success as students at OCC.

According to its webpage, ASOCC contributes to 41 different programs, clubs and events throughout our campus. They support our athletics programs, the Student Success Center, the Transfer Center, Career Services and our own Coast Report newspaper, to name a few.

We have the power to vote for candidates that will, on our behalf, make sure that these programs receive the funding that they need to meet our expectations.

With nearly $1 million at its disposal, ASOCC is one of the most powerful and hidden entities on campus.

In last year’s elections, only 2.45 percent of the student body voted for our current ASOCC senators a total of only 559 students.

With more than 25,000 students who attend our school, this voter turnout is unacceptable. It is our responsibility to understand how important our vote is in determining the quality of support we receive in our development as students and young adults.

Though many students might argue that a student government at a community college does not require an ounce of scrutiny, it is in fact, where we must turn our eyes in an attempt to keep them honest, in the same way that America would ideally like to keep its own legislators.

It is both our job and responsibility to pay close attention, to prevent our own carefully curated college environment from turning into yet another microcosm of America’s political climate.

The possibilities are endless if we each contribute to the prosperity of our community college environment.

Be sure to vote in this upcoming student senate election, your OCC community needs you.

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