Last week’s faculty panel opened up a great discussion about the upcoming election, emphasizing the need for citizens to participate in their government – and that’s exactly what we, as college students, aren’t doing.
Whether it’s writing a letter to your congressperson or signing a petition, Cabrini faculty sees the merit in participating in the constantly changing landscape of politics.
It makes sense that this would be important. So why don’t many young adults our age care?
The Loquitur staff has been conducting interviews with college students on campuses around the area, as far away as Temple and La Salle. While the general consensus from our surveying is that students are voting one way or the other for a candidate from one of the two major parties, there’s an unsettling amount of students who aren’t voting at all – and all with different reasons.
Others think it’s just not going to matter. Period. Why wait in line at the polls when they’re “not interested” in politics?
As we’ve gone from college to college, from student to student, this pattern of voter apathy remains a constant fixture.
But why is this?
Rasha Sharhan, a senior math major here at Cabrini, is an Iraqi refugee. Her future depends on who becomes President as she studies for her citizenship test. But she’s unable to vote. She’s not a citizen. She doesn’t have the same privileges as most of us do.
We’re all political people. Even if we’re not well-versed on public policy or ethics, let alone international law and economics, there’s a political dimension to us.
We live in a society with rules, laws, taxes. Some of us try to live only as social and personal people – devoting all of our time to just our families, to just what affects us at the moment, to our own fears, loves and hates.
But we’re more than that. The world is becoming interconnected every day, and when one person doesn’t speak up, it means someone else speaks for them – decisions are made for them.
Without vocalizing disapproval, or anger, or even sheer satisfaction, you’re keeping silent. Progress doesn’t come from silence. Change comes about through conversation, through collaboration, through compromise.
How else does a democracy work?