October 26, 2007

Election Article Reshuffle

As a journalist, I was anything but jumping for joy when the theme "politics" was to be included in my next story. After a few minutes of contemplation it finally occurred to me, "If I don't like politics there are bound to be other students with similar or opposing views on the topic." So off I went to find students interested in giving me their two cents worth.

Knowing ahead of time that not many students voted in the primaries I was thinking in the back of my mind "I bet I am going to find a lot of students who don't vote, or dislike politics." But at the same time I was hoping to find that one person who completely drowns themselves in politics that would be more than happy to talk my ear off.

Interestingly enough, the students I encountered seemed to prove to me otherwise. One student after another reassured me that they did in fact vote, but it was no more than a handful of students were willing to give me a reason why. That handful of students...became the story in itself.

Those students, whose view's were very straight forward and far from shy in their words, not only provided me with support to why they vote but as well as an insight into other dimensions of the subject.

One student said that many of the organizations on campus are a great tool to try and get more students encouraged to vote.

“When a grassroots organization like the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group [MPIRG] accomplishes something, after starting with almost nothing more than an idea, it can show a would-be-voter that great things are possible even at the lowest level of politics,? a UMD student said.

Another student decided to share a story of the past of why she hadn't voted and how that impacted her decision to vote today.

She said she was hesitant to vote in elections because she didn’t feel she was well informed on the candidates.

“I felt bad because I couldn’t participate in the election,? she said. “I hadn’t done enough research to know which candidate I would want running the city.?

It was very intriguing for myself to have the opportunity to speak with individuals who in a way, defy the assumption that students don't care about politics, as well as have the ability to share their thoughts with others through their own words.