Lessons Learned: Why Voter’s Privilege Should Apply to World Carnival

It’s disgusting to me how people refuse to take advantage of the resources handed to them to better ensure that their voices are heard. In the past, I have said some things in The Point News that people have disagreed with and I am sure that this article will be no exception. After all, there will always be conflicting views on a topic and this is something that any writer submitting an opinion article should acknowledge going in. However, this is very serious, it means a lot to me, and therefore, allow me to be blunt.

Since coming to this school, I have done my best to culture myself by going to any and all events promoted by the Programs Board and other clubs even if that means I eventually leave because it’s not my particular taste. At least I can say I went and explain my reasons for why I left. When it has come down to World Carnival, however, I haven’t always been the most enthusiastic. I have voted for the band at World Carnival all three years I have attended the college and not once has my top pick been the one to headline the event.

Carbon Leaf wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, but I went because it was free and my cousins had given them praise in the past. I wasn’t impressed, but the show was okay. Same thing with The Cool Kids last year. I liked what I heard on their mixtapes and I was at the front of the crowd during the show, but had I not been in that position, I probably would’ve been disappointed by the performance.

That brings me to this year.

It seems that the student body at this school is highly unappreciative of the resources handed to them. I have heard on multiple accounts by my fellow students that they are “unimpressed” or “upset” by the acts that were chosen for this year’s World Carnival and, especially, Virginia Coalition who won the vote. However, as it has been in past years, a decent amount of these students refused to vote.

To those of you who did not vote because you either didn’t know the bands that were offered to you or because you simply didn’t like them or just because you were apathetic: YOU HAVE NO ROOM TO COMPLAIN. If you voted, then you have reason to complain. It’s a voter’s privilege.

Even then, if your choice isn’t chosen, at least try to find something positive out of the situation. Okay, so maybe the band that was chosen wasn’t your first choice, but the band must have some kind of redeeming qualities. They must be able to perform, to interact, to at least bring something exciting to the table that wouldn’t be there otherwise. After all, this is coming from someone who has yet to see his first, second, or third choice play World Carnival.

After speaking to the people in charge of World Carnival for an article I wrote earlier this year, I was given the voter turnout statistics for this year and they were abysmal. A little over 200 people, 10 percent of the student population, participated in the vote this year. This is horrendous and for so many people who are disappointed with Virginia Coalition playing this year (and they played a great set I may add), the numbers don’t quite add up.

The fact of the matter is students, if they want their voices to get heard, have to participate in the system. That’s the only way they are going to get what they want. If the community at large is upset with the results of the voting or the choices they have or whatever else, it is up to them to make it right. If I remember correctly, the school is currently gearing up to hire people for Programs Board next year. If you want reform, apply for a position.

The amount of negative comments slung from the student body at Programs Board is appalling and when it comes to World Carnival, it gets especially ferocious. Sure, I will admit that sometimes events that are planned are misfires, but the Programs Board breaks themselves to ensure that there are free events for the student body.

So make a change if you don’t like how things are going. Speak up if you want your voices to be heard. Vote. Use the resources at your disposal to make the events you want to have happen. If you don’t get what you want, at least cherish things you now have. Be adults.

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