Election Day, Nov. 2, has left students at Seton Hall with a mixture of opinions in regards to the varying candidates and offices.
Some are involved in the process, while others have shown indifference.
Freshman diplomacy major Gabriel Torres said he is voting for Scott Garrett who is running for a spot on the House of Representatives in New Jersey. Torres is a registered Independent.
“He’s a good man who works for the community,” Torres said. “He’s even helped out my father previously.”
Torres went home to Bergen County to vote. He said voter turnout was “average,” and it was mostly “senior citizens.”
Senior Aquinas Resident Assistant, Mike LaValle, a philosophy major, is indifferent to the idea of politics. LaValle, from Brick, N.J., said he did not go through an address change and didn’t request an absentee ballot. He also said he did not follow the election nor did he do research on candidates.
“I’m not there in politics to feel that it is going to affect me enough,” LaValle said. “I think it’s generally a popularity contest and that’s what makes me sick.”
LaValle feels that voting does matter though.
“Yes to an extent voting matters,” LaValle said. “However the way voting is done you can’t stop those voting on popularity which really does curb the value of an election. People should vote informed and that’s where voters fall short.”
Another student, senior Daniel Rupinski, a political science major, also did not get a chance to pick up an absentee ballot. According to Rupinski, it was his first time not voting in an election.
Rupinski, from Chesterfield, N.J., believes everyone should vote.
“It’s a privilege that our forefathers died for,” Rupinski said. “The least we could do is go out and vote. Go out and vote for those who can’t possibly go out and change your life.”
A small poll of 51 students showed that 12 are voting and 32 are not voting. There were also seven students who were not aware elections were occurring.
Those who did not vote may have encountered some problems such as acquiring absentee ballots.
“Sometimes you have to take into account some of the variables such as those forgetting to get absentee ballots and those who were not informed about elections,” LaValle said.
Rupinski does not approve of the lack of involvement shown by people who choose not to pay attention to elections.
“I don’t like it,” Rupinski said. “It shows apathy. I wish more people would care.”
Freshman Matt Conlon, from West Milford, N.J., wrote an editorial about the election in his town that appeared on northjersey.com on Oct. 27.
“I wrote the editorial because I felt the need to highlight an important fact that may or may not be part of voters’ decision-making process: that if the two candidates I endorsed are not elected, Republicans would have a 6-0 unopposed majority,” Conlon, a registered Democrat, said in an e-mail interview. “I also intended to point out some campaign promises that the GOP has failed to execute during its seven-year period of having a majority on the Council.”
Conlon feels strongly about voting and said it is his “civic responsibility to participate in government.”
“One cannot expect government to rule for the people if he does not make his voice heard through any means the system allows,” he said.
Although students have shown indifference to voting at the University, Conlon feels that college students have a higher chance of participating in elections.
“I feel that college students are more likely to vote because going to college symbolizes one’s transformation from adolescent to young adult,” Conlon said. “It is a period of newly acquired responsibility and independence which should motivate them to assume an active role in our nation’s government.”
Fadesola Ojeikere can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.