Viewpoint: Let your voice be heard

Charles Bowker

WSUSA Executive Board has been fighting to close their doors to the public and the press. (The Signpost Archives)


In honor of National Newspaper Week, I’d like to take a moment and look back on the legacy of your right to be heard. As we reflect on American history and study the American Revolution, we’ve learned that the spark that led to the citizens revolting against tyranny was something small and simple.

They thought it was unfair to be taxed without proper representation.

Those rebels fought for their right to be heard and to be properly represented in all matters of government. Their efforts paved the way for the foundation of a country that believes in fighting for the voice of each and every one of its citizens.

That point was hammered home 87 years after the American Revolution, during the height of the Civil War, when Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address. In the end of the address, he is crystal clear as to what we as citizens must fight for:

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

People have fought and died for our right to have our voices heard, and that is something we should take as a solemn calling.

It seems, though, that the current political climate we live in has made it difficult to have our voices heard, from the rampant corruption of both federal and local governments to the ever growing protests for change to reflect our nation’s diversity. Among the sea of voices shouting, our voice can seem to be lost.

An example of that is Utah Transit Authority. The UTA has come under heavy scrutiny for wanting to use the sales tax revenues they receive as funding but have been shutting their doors to both the press and the community.

The Salt Lake County Council and the press have made it their mission to prevent such a thing from happening. In accordance with the rights to transparency, UTA’s doors are now wide open, albeit begrudgingly.

At The Signpost, we as student journalists strive to represent the voice of the student body here at Weber State University with this same ardor and passion. From the events that we cover to our written opinions, we are your voice.

One of the ways we do that is through our attendance at the WSUSA Executive Board Meetings and with the WSUSA Senate meetings. We understand that students here on campus don’t have the time to attend gatherings such as these, and so we work to help keep you informed as to their activity.

Recently though, the executive board has been fighting to close their doors to the public and the press. This group has the power to decide the use of your student fee money. If these doors are closed to observers, then there will be no transparency in how student funds are used.

We hope you can join us in our desire to keep our student government honest and open. They need to know that since they were elected by you, they also answer to you.

So let them know. Find your student senators. Get to know them. Let them know that you will not be silenced. If you need help getting in contact with your student executives, here is the email for your WSUSA President, Gregory J. Woodfield: [email protected].

And if that fails, email me at [email protected] or stop into my office on the fourth floor of the Student Union Building. As long as I stay in this office, I too will dedicate myself to making your voice heard.