College voters reject ‘apathetic’ stereotype

By Jessica Keesee, Ashley James, Brooke Beall and Bri Eveler

Michelle Kerr, 20, realizes the need for college students to vote. For her, the 2012 presidential election is more than just voting for the next president, it’s having her opinion heard.

“We have an opinion and if you don’t get out to vote, your opinion isn’t going to be counted,” Kerr said. “If college students don’t go out to vote, then politicians won’t even care about college students and then just dismiss us because we’re not going to go out to vote. We do have opinions that matter. We have issues that matter to us as students.”

Kerr, a senior, attends the University of Tampa where she is the vice president of the College Democrats. UT was recently ranked number six as one of the most politically apathetic colleges in the Princeton Review’s The Best 377 Colleges, 2013 Edition

There are UT students, however, that are politically involved and not apathetic.

Carly Gaffney, a senior, who would not disclose who she was voting for, thinks it’s important for college students to make their opinion count.

“If you are able to vote then you should,” Gaffney said. “No vote equals no voice. If you don’t vote, I don’t want to hear complaints about what is going on with our government.”

Other college students have focused on the issues being presented.

Rai Sampson, a sophomore, feels that the biggest issue our country faces is the financial crisis, with the lack of jobs included. Although she considers herself an independent, Sampson believes Obama can fix this problem if he gets reelected.

“I hate that people make it seem like he does nothing, but he’s done a lot,” Sampson said.  “If Romney gets elected, it will be like starting over.”

Kerr, who has also expressed that she is “passionate” about the issues being discussed and President Barrack Obama, is “confident” he will win.

“I think he is the right candidate,” Kerr said. “I think he can appeal to the most voters and I think it’s just too much ground for Mitt Romney to cover with appealing to so many minorities [and] so many women who just do not feel like he’s representing their issues at all.”

Upton Fisher, a sophomore at Tallahassee Community College, who has been watching the presidential debates, reaffirmed his choice to vote for Obama.

“Obama isn’t perfect, but given the circumstances he was brought in to, he’s accomplished a lot,” said Fisher, a first-time voter.

Although college students have been deemed apathetic when it comes to voting, some do pay attention to the issues and are ready to vote to have their opinion matter.

“We’re an important voting block and we need to make sure we are enthusiastic and voting,” Kerr said.

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