Excuses, excuses—what’s yours for not voting?

IMG_0830 By: Anna Sobczyk

Remember those videos where comedians like Jimmy Kimmel would walk around a college campus and ask random students questions about current politics? The point was to showcase how out of touch students are with the world outside of school. I remember watching those videos and laughing at how ignorant people were. Now, ironically, I am officially one of those ignorant college students. I never imagined myself being that person—the person who didn’t know and didn’t care. 

Yet, here I am. As soon as I started college, my focus shifted to only include school. My double major makes studying itself a part-time job on top of three other campus jobs. Over the past couple weeks I’ve seen several people on campus handing out voter registration forms. Each time, I feel guilty—because I’m not voting.

I don’t admit to this fact easily because I feel that both the media and this campus demonize people for not voting. Voting campaigns lean on turns of phrase like, “What’s your excuse?” and following it up with essentially, “there is no excuse.” There’s not much room to open up a conversation within that dialogue.

I’m not here to make excuses for why I’m not voting. Simply stated, I don’t vote because I’m uninformed and choose not to use my limited free time researching who and what is on the ballot. It’s not that I don’t want to vote; I just really value making informed decisions, and I am currently not up to speed on the happenings of the political world.

Voting is a right, but attending school is a privilege that carries a lot more weight in my life right now. For the foreseeable future of my academic career, I will continue choosing to study for a midterm worth 50% of my grade over looking up who’s running for governor.

Stay Unified

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-6-11-12-pm By: Melissa Pyle

After the results of our November 8th election I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Where do we go from here?” Immediately I was afraid; I was afraid that all the hateful things Donald Trump spoke about could become a reality. I wept at the reality that my country will be in the control of this man, someone who could so easily discriminated on so many people. I was afraid for the federal grants I receive that allow me to attend school and I got angry thinking about the possibility of them getting taken away or reduced which would not allow me to attend school. I was afraid for my rights over my own body as a woman and I got incredibly angry thinking about someone else making my reproductive choices for me. I went back and forth for a while getting angrier and more afraid until all I could do was sob. I was crying not only for myself but for all my brother’s and sister’s that felt like our lives changed that Tuesday and not for the better but for the worse. I felt helpless but then I realized, it’s going to take a lot more than one person to get me to lose sight of my values. My actions and beliefs are strongly rooted in equality, inclusion, and integrity and that will never change no matter the circumstances. As a white cis-woman I recognize my privilege and I will not hesitate to use it against hate and bigotry. I refuse to live divided and I will support those that feel the most vulnerable by our President-elect. Together we are unified and we are strengthened by our hope for a better country. In the great words of Ted Kennedy, “What divides us pales in comparison to what unites us.”