For most Wake Forest undergraduate students, this will be the first time they can participate in a presidential election as voters, and they are taking it seriously.
From conversations during casual, between-class walks to formal, student organized debates, students are talking politics.
The issues grabbing their attention range from the economy, foreign policy and healthcare reform to social responsibility, the size and scope of government, and human rights.
Amid a still-struggling economy, foreign policy challenges and a controversial social climate, the winning candidate will be in a position to change a lot about the country, or keep things the same.
It’s clear that students are not only aware of the importance of this upcoming election, but that they each have a list of concerns they hope to see resolved by one candidate or the other. With the election still several weeks away, students are already talking about their favorite candidates, and their hopes and fears for the future of the country. The excitement surrounding the first opportunity to step into a presidential voting booth has permeated all aspects of life here, not just political clubs or organizations. Students’ fascination with this race is not confined to the classroom or special interest meetings
“I think this election is a pretty captivating one,” said Michael Pisapia, professor of politics and international affairs who teaches a class focusing on voting participation. “I think the public gets and I think the students get that it’s a pretty important election with a pretty stark contrast between two visions for the country and government. I think students are tuning in.”
On a campus like Wake Forest’s, with students from all over the world from a wide-range of backgrounds, there are a variety of political opinions and disagreements. Students recognize the importance of having an opinion and the importance of sharing that with one another.