SILVIA OAKLAND, TRUMPET EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
As Election Day grows nearer, voters carefully watch who leads the polls: current President and Republican nominee Donald J. Trump or former Vice President and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. After three rounds of debates featuring both presidential and vice-presidential candidates, students on campus have begun to cast their votes.
As college student involvement in politics continues to grow across the nation, students on Wartburg’s campus are no different. According to an unscientific survey of 116 students conducted by the Wartburg Trumpet in October 2020, 56% of students who responded will be voting by mail in the 2020 general election.
“I think one thing that’s really missing from our current political structure that’s really the focus right now, especially with the pandemic on social media, is that interpersonal connection,” Will Dix, third-year accounting major and registered Republican, said. “We put ourselves in silos and I think it’s a huge opportunity to go to local city council meetings and go reach out to people that aren’t from your own political party.”
While Dix has not yet decided who he will vote for on November 3, he said he is leaning toward voting for Trump, who is seeking a second term.
“I like to wait as long as possible to make my decision. I don’t agree with how he [Trump] conducts himself, and the personality he brings to the office but I do enjoy the policies that he’s pushed forward,” Dix said. “While I don’t agree with all of them [policies], and I prefer him over the other candidates as of right now.”
Other students across the political line have also faced a tough decision when deciding who to vote for. Despite the push from social media platforms and political advertisements, Kaitlynn Reddy, a third year public health major, has decided not to vote in this election.
“It’s not that I necessarily don’t care about who the president is, in this specific instance to me it’s not necessarily bad because going off of their political records, a Biden presidency and a Trump presidency will be similar, in my opinion,” Reddy, a registered Democrat, said. “I feel like a lot of political conversations exclude people like me whose political participation and views fall outside of a bulls*** two-party system.”
Reddy said she has put time into being a political activist and said voting is a great step into being politically active, but activism should not stop with sending in a ballot.
“They just vote and they don’t really do anything else. They don’t contribute to other things,” Reddy said. “To me, voting is not the end game, nor is it activism.”
Voting has been highly pushed by both on-campus and off-campus influences, such as vote.org and the satellite voting station which was available to students on Oct. 15. According to a survey done by College Pulse of 4,000 college students nationwide, 71% of college students are planning to vote for Biden, however, 49% are unsatisfied by the policies put forward by Biden.
Jade Sands, second-year psychology major, sent in her absentee ballot to Minnesota and voted for Biden. Her reasoning echoed the 49% of unsatisfied students, and Sands said she thinks Biden is not very liberal compared to previous Democratic candidates, but he holds some hope for the future.
I’ve heard a lot of people say, ‘Biden’s not my first choice’ and ‘I don’t really like Donald Trump either,’ but I think Biden has the capacity to be willing to listen to other people and be flexible through his presidency in the next four years,” Sands said.
While each of these students expressed different presidential opinions, each expressed the importance of participating in local elections.