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Indifference leads college students to forget about off-year elections

By Victoria Neely, Columnist

The November 8 election stirred local politicians across the country. But as with all elections, the question remains: why should we college students care?

Let me start with the fact that thousands of people fought and died for our right to vote, and it is every citizen's civic duty to do so. It is very common, especially for the younger generation, to become politically involved during presidential elections. That is often because young people don't bother with local politics, or don't feel like their votes in those elections make much of a difference.

That assumption is wrong. Local politicians have just as much, and possibly even more of an influence on a young person's life than the elected president of the United States does.

It is your district's, county's, and state legislators and officials who directly control many things that you come in contact with on your day-to-day life.

It is your school board officials who control the public schools; county officials who can fix the potholes in your roads; state officers who can balance budgets and control how much taxes you pay. Someone who thinks local politics isn't important is ignorant and ill-informed.

That brings me to the point that as college students, we should become actively involved in the political process. It is often said that instead of complaining about what you don't like about our current political economic situation, go out and complete your civic duty of voting.

Political efficacy, especially among the youth when it comes to local politics, is a very damaging trend that needs to be reversed as soon as possible. Local officials are the ones who will listen to college students' wants and needs; they are the ones you need to become familiarized with.

College students are at a prime time in their lives. During these years, we can try new things, and become involved in things that we wouldn't normally become involved in. Hofstra has politically active clubs that teach students to be responsible and productive citizens. This is something that will get a young person moving positively further in life, instead of sitting back and watching everything happen.    

Off-year elections can really affect the public on a more local, personal level. After all, do you really think that the President of the United States is the one who will balance your state's or school district's budget, fix the roads, build new roads, or generally manage the upkeep of things that many take for granted every single day? No way. It's the ones who manage things closer to your town, district, county, region, or state are the ones who really have the power to make a difference in your lives.

 

Illustration by Isobel Stanton

TNL hit and miss

Letter to the Editor (Oct. 27)