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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Graduate before public office

    When you’re 18, the government can keep you out of a bar, but not elected office.

    Earlier this month, 18-year-old high school student Jeremey Minnier was elected mayor of Aredale, Iowa.

    Minnier is involved with his community, a volunteer and a natural leader. He is also still a high school student with no college education.

    Didn’t the community see this is giant red flag? He obviously has no educational experience that makes him qualified to run a town — unless a high school government course counts. Minnier plans on attending community college throughout his time as mayor, so maybe they’ll teach him about government and policy. Talk about learning on the job.

    Then again, the population and environment of the town — 74 residents — might not be incredibly difficult to handle. It isn’t like Minnier is going to have to deal with Occupy Aredale movements or vicious crime rates. A levelheaded 18-year-old who is dedicated to his work just might be able to handle governing a 74-person community. Compare that to the more than 30,000 undergraduates at the UA, 74 people is like a small club on campus.

    It is also quite possible that Minnier is a phenomenal natural-born leader, like some sort of child prodigy. But there is a greater chance that he won the 24-ballot election because voters were tired of the 76-year-old incumbent. Minnier’s father is a former Aredale mayor, which might have given citizens the idea that Minnier has always been a mini-mayor in the making.

    It’s great that young people are willing to fill leadership positions. Leadership is a choice, and when young people choose to lead, they offer a fresh outlook and renewed confidence.

    It goes without saying that people in their late teens and early 20s should become involved in the community and politics. It’s wonderful to be interested in these types of things. But if you’re still completing your high school degree, getting on the ballot for mayor probably isn’t the best idea.

    Frankly, if a high school student is interested in getting into the field of politics, perhaps they should consider participating in student government before taking a shot at being the mayor.

    How can you make political decisions when you probably haven’t decided how long you’ll be studying for that government and economics midterm?

    — Ashley Reid is a journalism sophomore. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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