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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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We’re deciding our future’

Megan Doyle | Monday, October 8, 2012

Twenty-nine days.

Twenty-nine days until the votes are cast. Twenty-nine days until the di falls for one candidate or another.

As Election Day looms one month away, students are studying for the voting booths on November 6 as well as their midterm exams. Freshman Emily Collins cast her vote for the first time in a primary election in Georgia this summer. She will also send an absentee ballot back to her home state from Indiana to participate in the general election.

“It was very exciting to be a part of something, to know my voice was being heard in something bigger,” Collins said. “It was exciting to do something small that was actually something really big.”

As she prepares to finally participate in an election, Collins said she watched last week’s presidential debate with a more attentive eye.

“I thought it was definitely interesting to see President Obama, because it was my freshman year of high school when Obama was elected,” she said. “It was interesting watching him now compared to then.”

Breaking out of the cycle of college life to stay informed about the election is sometimes difficult but necessary, Collins said.

“It’s really hard being a college freshman, you kind of forget [the election] is going on,” Collins said. “Being kept in your college life, it’s hard to remember what’s going on in the real world. Keep in touch. Keep checking the news.”

In order to encourage students to follow election issues, College Democrats and College Republicans will co-host a watch for the vice presidential debate Thursday at 9:30 p.m. in the LaFortune Ballroom.

College Democrats president Camille Suarez said she was pleased with the response to the bipartisan watch of last week’s presidential debate, also hosted alongside the College Republicans.

“Personally, my issue isn’t whether or not people vote Democrat,” Suarez said. “It’s whether people vote. I think a lot of people don’t vote because they think their vote doesn’t count. The choices that politicians make now affect us later.”

Students need to actively invest themselves in the political life of the country, Suarez said.

“I think we do understand [election issues], but it’s always easier to be indifferent,” she said. “I know it’s easy for me to be indifferent. I have to push myself to vote in every election.
 

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

-

archive

We’re deciding our future’

Megan Doyle | Monday, October 8, 2012

Twenty-nine days.

Twenty-nine days until the votes are cast. Twenty-nine days until the di falls for one candidate or another.

As Election Day looms one month away, students are studying for the voting booths on November 6 as well as their midterm exams. Freshman Emily Collins cast her vote for the first time in a primary election in Georgia this summer. She will also send an absentee ballot back to her home state from Indiana to participate in the general election.

“It was very exciting to be a part of something, to know my voice was being heard in something bigger,” Collins said. “It was exciting to do something small that was actually something really big.”

As she prepares to finally participate in an election, Collins said she watched last week’s presidential debate with a more attentive eye.

“I thought it was definitely interesting to see President Obama, because it was my freshman year of high school when Obama was elected,” she said. “It was interesting watching him now compared to then.”

Breaking out of the cycle of college life to stay informed about the election is sometimes difficult but necessary, Collins said.

“It’s really hard being a college freshman, you kind of forget [the election] is going on,” Collins said. “Being kept in your college life, it’s hard to remember what’s going on in the real world. Keep in touch. Keep checking the news.”

In order to encourage students to follow election issues, College Democrats and College Republicans will co-host a watch for the vice presidential debate Thursday at 9:30 p.m. in the LaFortune Ballroom.

College Democrats president Camille Suarez said she was pleased with the response to the bipartisan watch of last week’s presidential debate, also hosted alongside the College Republicans.

“Personally, my issue isn’t whether or not people vote Democrat,” Suarez said. “It’s whether people vote. I think a lot of people don’t vote because they think their vote doesn’t count. The choices that politicians make now affect us later.”

Students need to actively invest themselves in the political life of the country, Suarez said.

“I think we do understand [election issues], but it’s always easier to be indifferent,” she said. “I know it’s easy for me to be indifferent. I have to push myself to vote in every election.

“I think we all have a stake in this country, and letting your voice be heard is the most important thing. Not a lot of people in this world can vote, and we kind of disregard that right.”

As college students take out loans and manage their finances, Suarez said undergraduate voters have a particularly high stake in this election.

“Whatever president will be serving the next four years will have an impact on that interest rate and whether or not we’ll be paying for five years or ten years or even longer,” she said.

College Republicans president Mickey Gardella agreed the economy should be the most important issue for young voters.

“Our generation is going to have to pay off our debt,” Gardella said.

College Republicans have been campaigning in Mishawaka for their party’s candidates in the Indiana elections -Mike Pence in the gubernatorial race, Richard Mourdock for the state’s Senate seat and Jackie Walorski for the House of Representatives. Even though the club’s members are not all from Indiana, Gardella said they chose to campaign for the local candidates because the elections could have a larger impact on national politics.

“They have a direct effect on U.S. policy, U.S. governing policy,” he said. “One of our goals is to gain majority of the Senate, and right now Richard Mourdock is trying [to win a] close race against [Democratic challenger] Joe Donnelly.”

Gardella advised students to seek out election coverage and resources that are bipartisan and unbiased as Election Day approaches.

“Pick up a newspaper, read reliable media sources,” he said. “Both on the left and right, you’re getting pounded with slanted information. The most important thing you can do is to read reliable information.”

Junior Shivani Goel has followed election covered through CNN and other news sources, but she also follows both presidential candidates on Twitter.

“I think if you only follow one candidate, you would get a very biased view,” she said. “Because I follow both of them, I can see both of their sides. But I do think both of them try to exaggerate … so I wish they would talk more about their own viewpoints rather than just the other candidates.”

Social media has played an important role in making young people aware of election news, Goel said.

“That could be a good thing or a bad thing,” she said. “I think it’s good because it keeps people aware … but people post things that are wrong or exaggerate things.”

Because social media can be biased or limited, Goel encouraged her peers to turn to more traditional news sources as well.

“There are people who only learn about things by social media. … People will only hear about [news] when people post articles on Facebook,” she said. “I wish more people would be willing to watch the news.”

For sophomore John Olson, staying educated during the election is a must for college-age students.

“Do your homework on each candidate, what their goals are,” he said.

Olson said he feels the student population should be more aware of what each candidate represents going into Election Day.

“We’re deciding our future,” Olson said. “We’re getting to the point where the policies that are going to be enacted are going to be reflected on us. We’re making a choice on who is going to make the policies and laws that are going to dictate our lives.”