Students should be politically conscious

To vote or not to vote, that is no longer the question. The students of today’s generation are no longer concerned with politics, which is reflected in low voter turnout.

According to the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale’s publication, The Daily Egyptian, only 43 percent of college students voted in the last presidential elections compared to the 75 percent of Americans in the 45-65 year age group. In fact, the statistics indicate that the number of student voters has been steadily declining. The Daily Egyptian further reported that in the 2000 presidential elections only 33 percent of college students voted out of the 39 percent who were registered. What is the problem with our generation? Do we no longer care about the issues?

The campaigning/student-voter turnout is a vicious cycle. The politicians don’t campaign to college students because they automatically assume they will not vote. Furthermore, the politicians are supposed to represent the views of the people. Unfortunately, many politicians represent the people in power or the people who pay them. Not surprisingly, college students don’t rank high on either list.

In contrast to our parents’ and grandparents’ generations when political activism was the norm, rallying is no longer as acceptable. For example, the students who congregate in front of the Belk Tower to support their issues are often labeled as “freaks”, “losers”, or even disregarded completely.

As hard as it may be to believe, we do have important topics that politicians need to address. After the events of Sept. 11, we are now faced with an increasing threat of terrorism. Therefore, we should know exactly whom we vote into office because the decisions they make will affect not only us, but also our children.

University Wire — U. North Carolina – Charlotte