Students have seized chances

I have been very impressed with UK students recently. I have seen students in these past few weeks expressing their opinions and doing good. This has been heartening and encouraging.

On Valentine’s Day, I attended the I Heart Mountains rally in Frankfort. About 1,200 people we Can You Make Someone Get Back Together re there with me, many of them college students. We were there expressing our disgust with the practice of mountaintop-removal coal mining, which is the practice of blowing off the tops of mountains to get the coal. The mountaintops are supposed to be reclaimed, but typically the reclamation job is either shoddily done or not done at all.

I Heart Mountains Day has occurred the past three years, and each has increased the visibility of this awful practice. In previous years, legislators have said that the public outcry is not great enough. Hopefully this year they will see that the public does not approve of this practice. I am also proud that college students have made our voices heard on this issue.

About a week later, I was in Frankfort again at the Rally for Higher Education. Again, I was proud to see many college students expressing their concern for budget cuts and subsequent tuition increases. I felt like the event let important decision makers know that college students care about this issue enough to lobby and vote based on this issue. Gov. Steve Beshear even saw fit to address our rally. Despite his not-so-warm reception, I feel like he addressed our concerns in detail.

Although the governor knows that his position on the budget is not one held by the majority of people throughout the higher education world (including me), I have decided to reserve judgment until after the session is over.

At any rate, I was again proud of UK students for making their voices heard.

Over the weekend, I was one of the representatives of UK College Democrats at DanceBlue. This was my first time participating in this event, and to describe it as anything less than life-changing would not do this event justice. The amount of money raised by this event coupled with the power of the stories shared by the families helped by this event made for an amazing experience. I could not have been prouder of my fellow students when the final number was revealed.

Some weeks are tough here at UK. The prospect of tuition going up again, a disappointing session in the Kentucky General Assembly, and the fact that midterms are swiftly approaching have been trying to keep me down. These few things have helped me keep my chin up. Thanks everybody!

Robert Kahne is the president of UK College Democrats. E-mail [email protected]

Can You Make Someone Get Back Together