Gary considers student votes crucial

By Paul Kirk

Casting a vote for the elephant is not the only choice in DeKalb County despite how election results have turned out in the past.

Thomas Gary, 22, is an NIU student and the incumbent DeKalb County Board member for District 6, which includes the west end of the NIU campus.

“If students live in the residence halls or apartments, as far as the state is concerned, they’re residents of DeKalb,” Gary said. “We all spend money up here, go to bars, buy pizza and pay a 9 percent restaurant and liquor tax.”

Gary said he considers the student vote very crucial in the elections to secure fair representation for NIU in the county and in the state.

Students should care how much they’re being charged on property and food taxes, he said. Students spend the better part of four-month living in this county, Gary said.

“When decisions are made in government and there is no concern over the impact on students, one should not be surprised,” he said.

Students need to take a more active role in local government, Gary said.

“When more students begin to vote (in the elections) and sit on the county board, then we will begin to take control of our own destiny,” he said.

Gary said he feels there is a general feeling of ambivalence toward the student population from the county board. However, there also are people on the board who try very hard for the students, he said.

Gary was born in New York and lived on the south side of Chicago until 1986 when he moved to DeKalb. He is currently enrolled at NIU as a senior political science major.