The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

41° Stony Brook, NY
The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

Newsletter

Perspectives on Voting At Stony Brook

As it is commonly known, the student population at Stony Brook University is incredibly diverse. This comment would typically be seen as referring to the ethnicities found in the student body, however I mean to utilize it to describe the medley of opinions fostered by the students.
This article will not be about me rambling about something (though it would be educated rambling). Instead it will focus on the opinions of a very, very, very small sampling of the undergraduates here at SBU, regarding the elections which swept over campus.
The plain green “I voted” stickers found on many dorm doors or students’ foreheads are not the only remnants of the elections, since the differeing reactions of the students had also been roused and can still be heard being voiced. They may be adamantly supportive of the elections, apathetic towards it, or they may fall somewhere in the middle ground. Here are just a few of them:
“A lot of people who get politically involved have a lot of resentment for the more apathetic types. Having considered myself apathetic once, I don’t really buy that apathy is all about being uninformed. ignorant, or shallow. When people are in a position where their political voice carries no weight, they won’t use it. And when I look at things like corporate campaign finance or a two party hegemony, I don’t feel like their assessment is wrong. Activists need to stop believing they’re condemning the lazy, because they’re actually blaming the victims of disenfranchisement.”
-Andrew Homer
” I firmly believe that voting is a fundamental right, and that as brave men and women have died to protect our right to vote, it is important that people – students too – vote, and not just when the presidency is at stake. If one looks at history, the voter turnout really dropped once there was a credibility gap amongst politicians; when people stopped believing in their power to change anything, they stopped voting. More recently, one will see that turnout is usually about 50% of the electorate for presidential elections, ~30% for the midterm elections, and ~10% for “off years.” Citizens should realize that their votes count just as much, if not more during non-presidential election years, as fewer people vote, and thus every vote is just that much more important.
The results of the various Congressional elections were fairly predictable. The Democrats, in 2008, won such large majorities in both Houses of Congress on the coattails of Obama, who won with a large segment of the vote; numerous political theories state that Obama’s party would lose a large number of seats in this midterm election, which the Democrats did this past week. His falling popularity, combined with the excitement felt by his opposition led to Republican gains around the nation.”
-Deborah Machalow
“Generally speaking, I wish more voters [student or otherwise] would do some legwork in finding out specific candidates’ views on relevant issues, rather than feeding on extremist rhetoric or regurgitating opinions supplied by Fox News or The Daily Show. It’s easy to identify with a mainstream party’s politics when they’re the politics of your family, friends, neighbors, and peers, but not every candidate views every issue or plans to handle every initiative in such a black and white manner. I think in some areas populations of people take their political affiliation as seriously as they do their sports rivalries, and when it comes time to get into the voting booth they slip into this “goooo blue!” mind set. Now, barring mandatory political comprehension tests to allow people’s votes to count, maybe it’d be nice if polling stations had a laptop or two on hand with an independent voter resource page like smartvoter.org or something queued up for people to take a look at a few of the candidates and their stances before they run in and just start stabbing buttons. I think a lot of people would be surprised at who they ended up supporting. The unaffiliated would benefit even more.
Though, in a best case scenario, I’d prefer it if all the major parties were abolished, and politicians ran on their own politics, rather than crowd surfing across their base into office. Voters would have to do things like evaluate every candidate equally and soul search to find out what they want from their country and its leaders, and the candidates could run on platforms they feel are best for all Americans, rather than paying lip service to one or the other extreme in order to eek out enough support to take office and pursue the agendas which actually matter to them.”
-Erick Gordy
‘I’m fairly disheartened, but not surprised that the youth vote wasn’t nearly what it was back in 2008. While the Tea Partiers were organizing, the bulk of us thought it was safe to retreat into the Lady Gaga/Jersey Shore news cycle and rely on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to ridicule the GOP into submission. This was, in many ways, a much more important election to vote in: a gesture to stem back the tide of some very nice and justifiably angry, but woefully misinformed people who have a lot of grand ideas largely concerned with a misinterpreted, archaic reading of the Constitution coupled with a (mostly) irrational fear of government. We 18-35-year-olds are a potentially formidable political demographic capable of leading/influencing this country in a bold, direction, but instead we seem to be a voting bloc obsessed with avoiding responsibility for this nation’s future. With a recent Supreme Court decision allowing corporate and foreign interests to influence campaigns like never before, I hope that we will recognize the importance of disseminating information, neutralizing the mainstream media’s spin, distilling truth, and participation in the political process.
Get your heads out of your asses, recognize that no one in this world (save Rupert Murdoch, possibly) is rubbing their hands in delight over the evil he/she is causing in the world, realize that you CAN make a difference in the world, and always vote!”
-Jacob Stebel

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Statesman

Your donation will support the student journalists of Stony Brook University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Statesman

Comments (0)

All The Statesman Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *