Friday, June 12, 2009

Collegiate Times: Tech youth could give back to town

The Collegiate Times: June 3, 2009

Editorial: Tech youth could give back to town

Editorial Board

If they haven't already, those paying attention to Blacksburg local politics will notice two young candidates vying for Blacksburg Town Council votes.

Michael Sutphin, 24, is a writer with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a 2006 Tech communication graduate. Bryce Carter, 20, will be a senior majoring in humanities, science, and environment. Both will attempt to represent nontraditional town council demographics: youth and recent status as a Tech student.

The question is whether they should.

Some Blacksburg natives refer to the students as a tide that ebbs and flows. This hardly makes them sound like integrated members of the larger Blacksburg community. So, is it really fair for students or recent graduates to take up as much as two-fifths of the decision-making body for the town?

Consider that voters aged 18 to 29 have steadily increased their voter turnout and more than half of the demographic participated in the election last November. On Monday, Tech passed the Climate Action Commitment resolution, a plan with its roots in the student-led environmental coalition. The college-aged and recently graduated are getting more and more accomplished.


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