Millennial Voting Problem


Courtney Luciana – Special to the Southern News                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

A big problem that has arose with millennial voters is the lack of knowledge of deadlines in the voting process said Professor Wharton from the SCSU political science department. He said the next challenge is questioning how well informed students are of global issues.

“Millennials are very optimistic but I think that mindset comes with being young in general, said Wharton. “Cynicism tends to become more prominent with older age because more factors come into play like kids and a mortgage.”

Wharton who has faced a variation of students who have gleefully peaked their interests in politics in the classroom and others who have done the complete opposite, thinks the more education on controversies that have swept across the nation the better.

“Generation Y student voters clearly care about the issues of student loans, employment opportunities, and homeownership after graduation which is understandable,” said Wharton. “This election has been record breaking but more individuals have increasingly become anxious about what the outcome will be.”

Wharton said the best solution to this ongoing anxiety would be if students pressed onward from the standard civic educational courses required by SCSU and took the initiative to enroll in more in order to gain more knowledge on current events.

Still, even with only a certain amount of civic education being required by SCSU Wharton said, “I can’t help but wish the learning would continue to press forward considering that problems don’t diminish once a course is finished.”

Chris Rzasa, a sophomore majoring in journalism, thinks SCSU has more opportunity develop into a more politically active campus.

“Students should become more informed about both sides of the debate,” said Rzasa. “Students could benefit from informational sessions and viewing parties hosted in the ballroom.”

Rzasa said he has noticed that young voters tend to focus primarily on the future of the white house.

“There’s been a turn in the political cycle now where a lot of millennials have gotten involved with this specific election,” said Rzasa, “still I think the same amount of passion should also go towards the senate and house elections too.”

Rzasa said he thinks that while a majority of millennials tend to be optimistic he has noticed that at SCSU alone racial issues has evoked a widespread campus discussion due to Southern standing as a diverse campus.  

Yet according to a Pew Study only 19 percent of Millennials said that most people can be trusted compared which was compared with 31 percent of Gen Xers, 37 percent of Silents, and 40 percent of Boomers. The Pew Study found that 43 percent of Millennial adults are non-white and overrule as the highest share of any generation.

“Racial diversity may partly explain Millennials’ low levels of social trust. A 2007 analysis found that minorities and low-income adults had lower levels of social trust than other groups,” said Pew Research Center.

Ryan Plourde, treasurer of SCSU college democrats, said he believes there’s a lot of cynicism for good reasoning.

“Issues just don’t seem to be advertised or communicated well at all which is what inspired for me to be apart of a movement on campus, said Plourde. “We actually do have viewing parties but the outcome is light.”

Plourde said if the trend of the polls continues onward than he does not see any chance of hope nor room for optimism.

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