Students on voting: ‘I think people forget how much of a say we do have’

Taylor Richards – News Writer

Jan. 28 marked the most recent debate for the Republican party, held in Des Moines, Iowa. This debate is the last before the Iowa Caucus, the first major electoral event of the nominating process for the next president.

Each presidential debate is televised on various news networks and there are seven more debates until the 2016 election date. There is a schedule for each debate time, location, and news network host listed on the Washington Post.

According to freshman Mia Garoffolo, it’s important to watch presidential debates so “you can know where every candidate stands.” The next Republican debate is Feb. 6 on ABC News and the next Democratic debate is Feb. 11 on PBS.

Education major Drew McWeeney said watching debates themselves is more important than news coverage after the fact.

“You have to know both sides of the opinion when you go to vote. The news media won’t always give you both sides,” said McWeeney. “They’ll either be too conservative or too liberal. It’s too one sided. That’s why you watch the debates separately and make your own decision.”

McWeeney and Garoffolo both said they watch the Republican and Democratic debates instead of just following one side, so they can make a balanced opinion.

On April 26, Connecticut voters will have the chance to vote in the presidential primaries. Some students are already registered to vote in their party, and others are staying moderate. Nick Gulino, Film, TV, and Digital Production major, is registered as a Democrat and plans to vote in the primary. Even though he said he watches the debates “as much as he can,” he already has his mind made up for who he’s voting for in the primary.

“I think Bernie has a good shot for the Democratic nomination and people aren’t giving him enough credit,” said Gulino.

Garoffalo said she isn’t registered to vote yet, but plans on registering as an independent.

“I’m more conservative with my views and I generally vote republican, but if I like a Democrat’s views then I’m not opposed to voting for them either. I’m in the middle,” she said. “I’m rooting for Ted Cruz. I would like to see him as the first hispanic president.”

McWeeney falls in the middle as well and is already registered into the third party. He said that he can be conservative and liberal at the same time.

“I follow a Catholic faith, so I personally have one view about marriage. However, at the same exact time, I feel strongly that everyone has their own rights, and it’s not my right to tell anyone what to do with their life,” said McWeeney. “I believe one thing, other people believe another thing, and in the end I will always respect that.”

Generation Y, or the “millennials,” according to the U.S. Census, is anyone born between 1982 and 2000. They outnumber the Baby Boomer generation in U.S. population, and can make a large impact in 2016 elections since most are of voting age. Garoffolo said it is important for students to stay involved in politics.

“I think people forget how much of a say we do have. If everyone our age gets up and votes for who we believe in, then things will turn out for the better,” she said. “If we don’t take action now then how can anything get fixed?”

Photo Credit: jamelah e.


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