Photos by Rachel Collins, staff photographer, and Alex Dandy, copy editor.
The upcoming U.S. Presidential election on Nov. 6 between Democratic President Barack Obama and former Governor of Massachusetts, Republican Mitt Romney, is stirring excitement among young Americans on college campuses nationwide.
Some students at Drake exhibited excitement for this year’s election, which marks the 57th time in the U.S.’s history.
“It was so exciting. I just did it about two hours ago,” said Julianne Klampe, a sophomore politics and international relations major, upon registering her first-ever vote.
Klampe is also the Vice President of Bulldogs for Barack, a campus-wide initiative in support of Obama’s bid for a second term at the White House. Bulldogs for Barack gathers support from students.
“We have students sign pledge cards that say they are interested in voting early. We also find out whether or not they are interested in supporting the president,” Klampe said when asked about how Bulldogs for Barack has been gathering support.
So, what is it about President Obama’s policies that tilted the scales in his favor for Klampe?
“Well, I feel like he is representing me,” Klampe said. “I also really like the fact that his party is choosing to keep religion out of politics. That’s the way it should be.”
Nathan Mason, however, begs to differ with Klampe as he does not agree with Obama’s vision for the future of the country. The 25-year-old, a senior marketing and management major from Ankeny, Iowa shared his thoughts. “We’ve seen what Obama can do, and I honestly don’t think he worked as hard as he said he would. So, I think Mitt Romney should be given a shot,” Mason said. As a student, I feel the work Romney did with making higher education possible for bright students in Massachusetts was enormous. I want to see that enacted nationwide, and it’s definitely one of the policies that excites me.
Mason also talked about the importance on being informed.
“I just hope that every American out there goes out and makes an effort to get informed. I encourage them to not be influenced by social media,” Mason said.
But not everyone is sure who they will be voting for come Nov. 6. One such student, first-year secondary education and English double major Zachariah Dredge, is undecided and unsure of which candidate he wants to vote for.
“I am not an expert in government. What I’m going to look for is someone who appreciates human rights, who is upfront about their plans, and who has shown they don’t bend with every popular whim,” Dredge said.
“It’s sad because politicians were never meant to be career politicians. The founders of the country wanted upstanding citizens to take an interest in their country – not make a living out of politics,” added the 19-year-old.
College students make up a significant percentage of eligible voters nationwide and the students at Drake are an indicator of which candidate and which policies in particular students all over the nation will be keeping in mind when casting their votes.