Recently, all the attention has been on Washington D.C. and the 2016 election.
We endured the rigorous battle for the White House that has left most of us politically drained and looking at cat memes rather than the news.
However, in this new era of government, we must not forget the important role state government plays in the political process.
Many policies enacted at the state level directly impact us more than those passed by Congress.
From infrastructure bills to alcohol regulations, the decisions of state lawmakers shape our day-to-day life.
Specifically, in Alabama, the Legislature has more power over law creation than any other branch of government.
The Alabama Constitution even gives the Legislature authority to approve or deny some policies of local governments.
Our lawmakers play a leading role in shaping the future of our state.
Therefore, it is our responsibility as Alabamians to be educated and engaged in these political matters.
Many issues will dominate the upcoming legislative session, but one issue that directly affects Auburn students is funding for higher education.
In 1997, drastic cuts were made to higher education funding that has been a factor in tuition increases.
Without increased funding from the state Legislature, it is probable tuition costs will continue to rise.
Every year, SGA hosts Capitol on the Plains and invites government officials to speak to students regarding various issues and topics.
This event is your opportunity to learn firsthand from top lawmakers about their priorities as a new legislative session approaches.
Our panelists include Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R), Rep. Terri Collins (R), Rep. Anthony Daniels (D), and Rep. Elaine Beech (D).
This year’s event will take place Jan. 26 at 7p.m. in Langdon Hall.
Students can submit questions via Twitter using #COTP2017.
We cannot guarantee all questions will be asked but will try our best.
Our goal is to encourage students to become civically engaged and inspired to keep up with state politics.
All Auburn students are invited to attend.
Meredith Smith is a senior majoring in political science. She is Assistant Vice President of External Affairs in Auburn's SGA.