Readers’ Forum: 10/16/18


Student loans

Those two seemingly insignificant words can strike fear in the hearts of many young students and graduates alike. The daunting task of paying for college can be extremely overwhelming and can cause a lot of students to rely almost exclusively on gourmet bowls of Top Ramen and cash flow from plasma donations to make it through their educational career.

No matter the temporary struggle, most graduates look back on those years as some of the best of their life. They have realized the effort they put into paying for their degree was worth it in the long run. Paying for college can be expensive and difficult; however, giving everyone a free college education would decrease the value of a degree, lower the quality of education and ruin the college experience.

If college were free, graduates would be more common, and it would make work harder to find. Because of federal debt, the government would be unable to shoulder the financial burden. Quality of education would be negatively affected without adequate funding. If students were not required to work to pay for their degrees, they would lose an invaluable opportunity to develop skills they will need for the rest of their lives. These issues don’t become truly alarming until you realize they affect very real people. We all could be affected by the damaging ripple effect free college could have. Even though paying for college can be difficult it is the best option for students in the long run.

— Anna Mae Walker

Eagle, Idaho

Nature in class

Often those who have spent time in nature can attest that it leaves them feeling revived. Children are frequently found outdoors, swinging from trees or rolling down grassy slopes. However, in many school systems, children are in classrooms with little to no contact with nature.

The presence of nature has been shown to have many benefits, including an increased self worth and concentration and decreased emotional distress; therefore, there should be more green spaces in classrooms in order to help children become more effective learners.

An increased attention span and ability to think creatively are only two of the many benefits students would reap from having green spaces in their classrooms. Not only would increased nature benefit children inside the classroom, but it would also help them in their day-to-day life.

Green spaces aid children in better managing their stress and behaviors, in addition to having an increased sense of self worth. It is a widely accepted truth that nature can become meditative and help put life in focus. Why wouldn’t we want this for our children?

As the use of technology continues to escalate, the need for nature also increases. The influence of nature is becoming ever more apparent, especially for children. School children do not even need to be sent out into forests to reap these benefits. Just some potted plants or a view of nature will be a good start.

— Heather Warner

Portland, Oregon



Universe Editorial

Voter turnout 

Historically, young people have an abysmal track record of voting, especially in midterm elections. According to the Pew Research Center, only 22 percent of millennials eligible to vote showed up to the polls in the 2014 midterm elections.

When there’s low voter turnout among young people, who comprise the majority of the electorate, the majority is underrepresented in government while the minority is overrepresented. Suddenly, the government doesn’t represent “we, the people” as accurately as our Founding Fathers intended.

While the importance of a government reflective of its electorate can’t be overstated, voting is about more than the outcome of a given election. When you don’t vote, you lose the opportunity for your voice to be heard on important issues that will directly impact your life.

It can be difficult to find the time to cast an educated vote, but your voice is important. It deserves to be heard in our government, and our government deserves to benefit from your unique experiences and perspectives.

With the midterm elections around the corner, now is the perfect time to stop the cycle of voter indifference. If you’re not registered to vote, do it today. The deadline to register online or in person in Utah is Oct. 30. If you’re not from Utah, it only takes a few hours to become a Utah resident and register to vote. If that’s not feasible, you can easily request an absentee ballot to vote in your home state’s election.

Choose to vote in the midterm elections on Nov. 6. Together, we can stop the cycle of low voter turnout and become an involved, concerned electorate determined to make our country the best place possible.

Jenna Alton, Universe Web Editor

Print Friendly, PDF & Email