Students prep for elections
National debt, loans important issues
Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 9, 2012 10:11
Many UCF students will be stepping into the voting booth Nov. 6, some for the first time. As college students, education is a key point that students are thinking about as they determine which candidate to vote for.
For students who are still undecided, both College Democrats and College Republicans are here to help at UCF. Tables for both groups can be found outside the Student Union every day, where anyone can get information about their respective party’s candidate and be encouraged to vote.
“Students need to realize their opinions matter,” Aaron Chegini, College Republicans vice chair, said.
According to an Obama for America-Florida press release, 607,921 students are receiving larger Pell Grants as a result of his policies.
College Democrats President Aubrey Marks believes that President Barack Obama is the right choice for a successful future because he wants to keep college affordable.
“In order to win the future, America’s education policies need to be top of the line,” Marks said.
Chegini said that a major concern for voters should be national debt and how it will affect the younger generations.
“We don’t want to mortgage our children’s future,” Chegini said.
To Shannon Payne, a sophomore majoring in anthropology, these and other issues are critical in her first time being old enough to vote during a presidential election.
“Everyone should have access to an education,” Payne said.
She said schools are losing good students because they can’t afford tuition. Another important issue to her is gay rights, which Obama recently came out in favor of. LGBT rights, as well as women’s rights and health care, are some of his campaign’s biggest points and are also important issues that Marks believes people should be paying attention to.
“Obama’s policies will be moving us forward,” Marks said. “Romney will take us back 50 years.”
Professor of political science Roger Handberg said he believes students should be thinking about more than just education. He said that voters should worry about having social security, Medicare and pensions as they retire. Health care, he feels, is also important, adding that repealing Obamacare would take away health insurance from many young voters who might not be able to afford it on their own or get it from their employers.
“Students who don’t think voting matters will allow other people to make their decisions,” Handberg said.
A Central Florida Future poll showed students seem to favor Obama. Nearly 60 percent of more than 400 UCF students asked plan to vote for him; 17 percent said they plan to vote for Romney. Ten percent said they weren’t voting for either, and 13 percent remain uncertain.
Members of College Democrats are available to help students register to vote or update their voter information on campus, regardless of party affiliation. Students can also go online to election.dos.state.fl.us/voter-registration/voter-reg.shtml where they can print out the registration form and mail it to their county’s supervisor of elections.
The deadline to register to vote in the November election is Oct. 9.