Election Day provides voice for students

Column by Editorial Board. E-mail [email protected].

Election day is less than a week away. Countless opinions barrage college students as the battle for the coveted college vote intensifies. College students are frequently criticized for their lack of civic engagement, but at the same time their votes are heavily courted. Politicians and campaign managers know that winning the votes of college students can make or break their shot at a political office. They also know that college students can be highly impressionable.

The typical college student feels the full force of the battle for his or her vote daily. Professors frequently drop hints as to which way they think you should vote or manage to make their political standpoints clear through lecture points. Parents often make their political opinions evident and can heavily influence a student’s vote. Friends, co-workers and significant others tell you how they think you should vote. Politicians visit campus to convince you that they deserve your votes. Political ads from all sides barrage you. There are ads on the side of the road, on TV and even on Facebook.

Despite all of the players attempting to influence you, however, the time will arrive when you stand alone and unseen in the voting booth. In that moment, your vote should reflect your choice of the best candidate — not anyone else’s choice.

You have one week to look beyond the clutter of voices attempting to influence you, examine the facts, clear your head and make your own educated decision. Students unwilling to take the time to do these things should not vote, because their vote will not accurately reflect the will of the people. It is our responsibility to not only exercise our right to vote, but to also vote maturely as informed, independent adults. Take the time to examine the issues. Look beyond what is expected, cool, popular or partisan. Think about what you want your community and country to look like and, more than that, what you want the country in which you will one day raise your children to be like. Prove the stereotypes about college voters wrong. Educate yourself, make your best decision, then show up to vote.