The following article reflects the opinion and views of the author, Jon Schlosser, and does not present an endorsement from the Ohio University College Democrats.

Throughout my four years at Ohio University, students have discussed the need for student representation on the Athens City Council. This is an important topic given that students represent a large portion of the city, yet do not hold an amount of elected offices. Currently, Councilwoman Sarah Grace, who is working on her master’s degree at Ohio University, most closely represents student voters. There is a need for another current student on City Council. 

Arian Smedley, who is currently working on her master’s degree in the Public Administration program, is the only person able to represent current students who live on the West Side of Athens. Right now, she is the Assistant Superintendent for the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities. She grew up in Athens and has chosen to come back to her hometown, which is one of the most admirable qualities about her, and it showcases her passion for making a difference in this community. She is also a representative on the Regional Planning Commission which, according to their website, is a body that claims to promote “a balance between economic, social, and environmental needs by providing technical advice and prompt and efficient services to the citizens of Athens County.” Arian has chosen to come back to her hometown and run for public office to give back to the community that has given so much to her. 

Arian has previously served on Athens City Council in 2017, giving her the experience needed to make a meaningful impact on the West Side and address the needs of the area. The biggest issues she wants to address are the abandoned buildings in the ward, safety and sidewalk infrastructure. Making Athens a safe, accessible city should be a priority in our community. As a student, she is our best option to have these issues addressed in the First Ward. 

We, as students, must support a current Bobcat by registering to vote before April 8 and voting early from April 9 to May 6. The date of the election is May 7, after students leave campus, so it is important to early vote. You can early vote uptown at the board of elections, located at 15 S. Court St., where pumpkin lives.

Jon Schlosser is a senior studying education policy at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Let Jon know by emailing him js787315@ohio.edu

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