Just two weeks ago, Governor Rick Snyder visited Ferris’ campus. Didn’t hear about it? You’re not alone.
Snyder, here for a tour of the Swan building, came and left campus almost anonymously an hour before he was scheduled to do so. The governor is notorious for not talking to the press or having much to say in general, so I wasn’t particularly offended when he left without answering questions. What offended me was his attitude while he was here.
After his tour of the Swan building, the governor stopped by the College of Business to talk to students displaying what appeared to be security-based research projects. During the mere fifteen minutes he spent listening to students, Snyder looked bored out of his mind, only mustering up enough interest for the occasional nod or “yes, nice” to whatever it was the students were showing him.
I generally don’t have a lean when it comes to politics, and I consider myself pretty moderate when it comes to my beliefs about how government should operate, so it’s not the “left-winger” in me coming out when I say I’m genuinely pissed at Governor Rick Snyder.
In the coming year, Snyder will be up for re-election. From what I can tell, his visit to campus was at least, in part, an attempt to pander for votes. One of his advisers undoubtedly said, “You know, college kids can vote,” to which Snyder replied by making an appearance on campus. All well and good, but honestly, you can’t feign an interest for fifteen minutes?
I once met Kwame Kilpatrick, the former mayor of Detroit, at one of my mother’s work-related functions. Despite now knowing that Kilpatrick was involved in umpteen different types of fraud and possibly the murder of a stripper, I have fonder memories of being in a room with Kilpatrick than I do with Snyder, and for one simple reason: Kwame Kilpatrick could at least act like he cared.
We are Snyder’s constituency, so how he acts in front of us, whether he believes it or not, determines how he will spend his next six years. Snyder’s overall refusal to speak to anybody in the press is problematic but understandable; if you don’t say anything, they can’t call you out. While his constant refusal to discuss issues is a blight on his career, his careless dismissal of hard-working college students is kind of sickening.
I don’t hate on Governor Snyder, nor do I feel as though he’s not fit to run the state- I simply feel he needs to improve his attitude toward the public should he hope to create any sort of legacy as a governor of Michigan. And I don’t think that’s too much to ask.