For their own sake, students should care about district race

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council affects students’ lives more directly than most realize.

In the past few years, the council has passed ordinances that students have found plenty to complain about. Among these are the smoking ban, keg-tagging ordinance and the Lexington Area Party Plan.

In addition, there are several ongoing discussions on issues that directly concern the student body.

Last semester, the council formed a committee to investigate proposed changes for off-campus housing. The proposal, if approved, would vastly reduce the number of off-campus housing options available to students and potentially raise off-campus housing prices.

The proposed construction of the CentrePointe development will include the destruction of The Dame, Buster’s and Mia’s, three major nightlife spots highlighting the downtown social scene frequented by many college students.

And despite the efforts of the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center and the UK administration, student safety on and around campus remains a major concern.

UK students have a history of showing up to council meetings en masse when the council is considering regulations that affect students. But because few students actually show up to vote, lawmakers have little reason to listen to these student voices.

Students can make a difference in the city council, but only if they register to vote and show up on Election Day.

Candidates for the 3rd District seat on the city council spoke to UK students Tuesday regarding their campaign platforms for the upcoming election. Since UK’s campus is in the 3rd District, it is essential that students make an informed decision in the election.

The five candidates — Eric Thomason, Don Pratt, Diane Lawless, Gary Weston and Jonathan Rodgers — all spoke about their plans to encourage interaction between the campus and the greater Lexington community, the Kernel reported Wednesday. But students have to learn about the candidates’ specific plans and priorities to know which one best represents their interests.

If students wish to see themselves represented fairly in the discussion of these issues, they should make sure to thoroughly research each candidate’s platforms and vote in the 3rd District seat election.

For more information about the candidates, voters can visit the SG Web site ( and each candidate’s Web site. Links are available at the Kentuckians for Commonwealth Web site