An example of a support system that colleges can put in place to help students, and faculty alike, become more in touch with their local legislators is by creating a council of students and faculty who represent the student body of their campuses. It is through that council that they can brainstorm ways to improve their schools, local, and state communities by working together with their local legislators to take action. By becoming more involved with local legislators, and with the support of the college’s administration, students and faculty’s role of influencing the proposal of bills and policies can be crucial in broadening the foundation of creating bills. It would allow for campuses across the nation to become more involved with their local governments, which would allow for a more diverse pool of thinkers.
In opposition to this idea, there is the argument that since colleges and universities have both citizen and non-citizen students enrolled at their campuses, we would be allowing international students to partake in the politics of our country – which in turn is argued that only citizens should partake in. However, I argue that there is no harm in allowing those students to have influence on bills and policies that can be proposed. The legislator, in their own role of the support system in place at the college or university, acts as the middle man between ideas and law. We as individuals, citizen or not, have the freedom of speech and by contributing ideas to potential bills or policies pose no threat to the rights of citizens, law, or country in any way. It does, however, allow for the higher possibility of improving our society, economy, and international political environment by including different thinkers from around the world who, despite not being citizens of the United States, are affected by the way the country holds itself. In addition to creating a support system to improve diversity in the making of state policies, teaming up with local legislators to lead courses that teach students how to effectively create bills and formulate a thought process that would be well received by other representatives is another way this can be done. An academic course to cover something like this is only one way it can be achieved, while creating a program specifically targeting this cause or even creating a student council are other ways. It is important to consider that the accessibility of legislators vary within each state, so these courses would be personalized by state.
Aside from getting students more involved with the politics in their colleges’ states, there are plus sides other than the diversification of policy making and involvement. By developing a diverse mass of people to become more involved in politics, we enable ourselves to become more susceptible to implementing well thought out and considerate policies of all individuals in this country. By using colleges as a tool to reach a diverse population, the students, and encouraging their involvement with pushing and/or creating certain policies, it is refreshing to the values the country holds which is “freedom, liberty and justice for all” (per the United States pledge of allegiance) - values that may have veered off the path of that meaning that this country is believed to hold.
-- Joaquin Contreras