The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday June 7th

No apathy here: Enthusiasm for local politics a good sign in ’09

Tuesday night’s mayoral candidate debate, sponsored by the Young Democrats and College Republicans, proved that UNC students are eager to participate in local government.

Municipal elections tend to focus less on the partisanship and core beliefs that are promoted during national campaigns.

The Young Democrats and College Republicans put their convictions aside to bring the four candidates to campus to discuss issues facing Chapel Hill — most of which greatly impact the town’s student population.

The well-attended debate gave students a chance to hear what the candidates intend to do as mayor concerning a variety of issues.

Throughout the debate, it became clear that the issues facing the town and the UNC student population are interlinked, and that the candidates care about what we have to say.

Although Chapel Hill is not a permanent home for most UNC students, issues like downtown revitalization, homelessness and safety are those which concern us as much as the town’s residents.

By going to debates, engaging the candidates and voting, students send a message to the local government that we are invested in weighing in on how town decisions affect us and future students.

And even though 2009 is not a high-profile election year, voting should still be taken seriously.

The Young Democrats and College Republicans have done a good job carrying the momentum of the 2008 election cycle to make sure that students are informed and active in all elections and all levels of government.

The primary goals for a student political group are educating the campus community about government affairs and promoting political action.

It’s good to see that the Young Democrats and College Republicans took this to heart by coming together to give Chapel Hill’s mayoral candidates a channel through which they could share their ideas for improving the town with UNC students.

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