This Month with the President: Count My Vote brings politics to the forefront of students’ minds

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Some may think politics and education have nothing to do with each other, but Student Body President Carlos Morgan said now is the time to consider the possibility.

Morgan, a senior communication major from Santa Clara, wants to make sure every student understands why Count My Vote is currently on the Dixie State University campus.

There is an organization in the state of Utah called the Utah Student Association that student body presidents of each public school represent. The organization represents students by voting for elections through a delegate system.

According to USA’s Facebook page, the mission of the organization is to represent the interests and preserve the rights of the students of Higher Education in the state of Utah. The USA is dedicated to working with the Utah State Board of Regents, the Commissioner of Higher Education, the Utah State Legislature, the Presidents of institutions of the Utah System of Higher Education, and other community and governmental agencies to initiate positive changes and be a voice for the students of Utah.

The USA currently has a delegate voting system that Count My Vote is trying to eliminate so students can represent themselves instead of having a small group of people take on the responsibility of voting for the student population.

There are different organizations hoping for change in the USA organization, including Protect Your Neighborhood, but the USA is choosing to endorse Count My Vote after months of discussion.

Morgan said Count My Vote would benefit students because it skips the process of choosing and sending delegates, and it would be as easy as going to the voting polls to include personal input. 

“Instead of voting for delegates who will represent you, you represent yourself,” Morgan said.

Morgan said some students are upset because they believe politics and education are two separate categories. He said some may be upset at his choice of endorsing Count My Vote, but he is doing what he believes is best for the students.

“I don’t like playing this card, but you elected me to make these decisions,” Morgan said. “People think education and politics are separate, but they’re not because so much of our funding comes from the legislature and the board of regents. All of the stuff that’s happening at the capital is so related to what’s going on here.”

He said the decision of representing Count My Vote is not final because the organization needs to gather enough signatures to be able to propose the idea to the legislature. He said even if the legislature passes the change, the chance to vote for or against the organization will be on the voting ballots for each citizen.

“We just felt like it was a good move,” Morgan said. “It’s hard for us to say the [Dixie State University Student Association] supports Count My Vote, but we’re part of USA, so in a roundabout way, we are, but, at the same time, we’re open if other people want to come on campus and give their [input].”

He said the DSUSA is hoping to organize a debate on campus so each student has the opportunity to state his or her opinion. He also said the DSUSA is open to hearing ideas from other organizations. 

“You may or may not agree with this, but come and understand why they’re here,” Morgan said. “If you’re opposed to this, then go to be opposed because we’re not trying to dictate people’s views.”

Morgan said if students have questions about the system or organizations, they can talk to him in the student government room in the Gardner Center, and he would be happy to help them understand. He also said it would be beneficial for students to research Count My Vote’s website to gather facts and more information.