Lawmakers’ indifference shows at Higher Ed Day

February 27, 2015 Review Print Print
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Higher Ed Day — a day the state Legislature throws open its doors, welcomes voters and colleges from across the state, and strains itself to feign interest in our concerns.

I found it absurd that Higher Ed Day is shared with Homeschool Day at the Capitol. But I suppose it’s fair that legislators hear equally from those pursuing higher ed and those who decry the merits of formal education.

I witnessed homeschoolers far more actively engaging their representatives than college students.

I watched (what I assume to be) families of religious fundamentalists who’ve opted for curriculums of their own, opposed to science and a free exchange of ideas, chatting with congressmen while many of us were bunching up in comfortable cliques and commenting on statues.

Suddenly I understood Oklahoma law-making much better.

I saw the usual Capitol processions too. Under-age debutantes in short dresses and bright lipstick were toured about the hallowed halls, paraded past salivating, middle-aged congressman.

Were they being acclimated to the ways of the power structure so they can serve as proper arm candy when the time comes?

I saw teenage boys in thousand-dollar suits and weird, puffy hair-dos brought by handlers to legislators who could assess that their future replacements are being properly groomed for their positions.

These are the observances that stack up to reveal the human-centipede that our political system has made out of democracy.

Higher Ed Day is a nice show but after the bread and circus passes, it remains evident that our state’s congress mostly votes along the lines dictated elsewhere.

The illusion of accessibility to our reps was further obliterated when a week later, the House committee overwhelmingly voted for the destruction of Advanced Placement History classes. So much for the importance of education.

Higher Ed Day is a grand concept. Forgive me if I’m not convinced our legislators will hear the concerns of college students over the rustling of lobbyist’s dollars and the lure of improving their NRA ratings.

Host Higher Ed Day on a campus and see how many congressmen visit the places they affect with their legislation.

Rating: C

To contact Jorge Krzyzaniak, email seniorwriter@occc.edu

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