Voting: a lackluster privilege

Students challenged to register to vote

In November, the American people will have the opportunity to vote in the 2016 presidential election. Malone is working hard to get students engaged and more involved in this election and the voting process, even if the privilege seems less-than-thrilling.

David Beer, assistant professor of political science, explained the worry that students do not intend to vote in the election. Is it simply that students do not support any of the presidential candidates? Beer listed several reasons as to why Malone students are not involved in the election.

“On the one hand, eighteen to twenty-four year olds don’t vote much. Partly that’s because you don’t really think about the importance of voting until you own a home, you’re married, or have kids. Then you start caring about those things like: are the schools good, are the roads good, are the neighbors nice,” said Beer.

Voter Registration: Student filling out voter registration to be able to vote in the upcoming presidential election. Voter registration deadline is October 11, 2016 (photo by Kelsey Garrett).
Voter Registration: Student filling out voter registration to be able to vote in the upcoming presidential election. Voter registration deadline is October 11, 2016 (photo by Kelsey Garrett).

Another problem includes the fact that Malone students are busy outside of class and might not have the time to become involved. Even if students did become informed, it is unlikely that there would be much of an interest in supporting a political party.

Beer said there is a growing trend in college students who show more support for issue advocacy rather than any one party.

Clarissa McFall, senior biology major, is a registered voter and plans to vote in the upcoming election. However, McFall doubts that Malone students will want to partake in the voting process. In addition to students viewing the candidates unfavorably, McFall said, “A lot of people are complacent about voting.”

Despite all of these obstacles, Anne Schrock, resident director of Woolman, Whittier and Fox Halls, is trying to get students involved. Schrock and other resident directors have been hosting debate watch parties, conversing about different aspects of the elections and encouraging students to at least register to vote.

Schrock wants to encourage students to have conversations with others who have different political views.

“You’re learning how to be good neighbors and good community members when you listen to people who think differently than you, but then you also refine what you believe and where your faith is,” said Schrock.

In response to students who do not intend to vote for any of the presidential candidates, Schrock tells students to look at the bigger picture.

Students have a voice and can affect change. Even if students do not know who to vote for this year, voting is a lifelong practice in civil engagement.

It does not hurt to register to vote. At the very least it gives students the ability to be involved with local politics. If students do not want to vote on who becomes president, they can vote regarding local issues.

Voter registration forms are available for students to pick up in the Student Development Office, located in the Barn. Ohio’s registration deadline is Oct. 11. Registering to vote is the first step in becoming an active and engaged citizen in politics.

Monica Hershberger is a staff writer for The Aviso

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