City College students need to become more politically aware

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN


The 2016 Presidential elections have prompted news headlines filled with scandals and malicious remarks from our leading candidates. While this may be what catches our attention, it really tells us nothing about their actual stance on important issues concerning our country.

It is time for young adults and college students to properly inform themselves about the plans of action these potential leaders pitch to the nation. City College should take advantage of its online portal, Pipeline, to educate students about politics.

A study done shows that in the 2012 election, the turnout among voters between the ages of 18 to 29 was only 45 percent. Meaning that less than half of our peers took the time to fill out a paper that dictates who will be running the country.

It is important for everyone to vote, but in particular college students who will pursue careers and make important life choices within the next four years. Although it may seem like an abstract concept, this election really is life changing. Education funding, job opportunities and the diversity and actual ability for people to live here could be completely turned upside down.

The ever so frequent comment, “my vote doesn’t matter anyways,” needs to be erased from students’ vocabulary. It’s a cop out, and quite frankly an excuse to be lazy and remain uninformed.

The first action to take is registering to vote, and if you’ve stepped foot near a grocery store or any public place for that matter, you would know it’s easy to accomplish. But then what next?

Becoming politically informed is no easy task and can actually be quite intimidating. Turning on the television and trying to watch a debate, or even researching about it online can lead to confusion after only a few minutes.

Thirty-seven million people watched the second presidential debate between George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000. Over forty million people watched the season finale of American Idol 2.

People, and young people in particular, may be more likely to tune in for a debate if they went into it with some current political knowledge.

The average college student may not understand most of what they are listening to or reading, which ultimately leads to frustration.

City College should offer more resources that allow students a better comprehension of what our leading candidates are really pushing for.

Yes, there are some ways for students to stay involved, like the SBCC for Bernie club or watching a debate in a group setting.

Although these may be helpful, a more hands on approach would keep students better informed. Pipeline is a tool used by every person in attendance at City College, and would be an efficient way of keeping them politically up to date. Weekly emails could be sent out to students or posted on the homepage with brief and translated coverage.

Simple unbiased explanations about Clinton’s stance on GMOs, Trump’s healthcare reform or Bernie Sanders education plan would give students the insight they need and deserve. Having this kind of awareness and background would give young people more confidence to take action.

So what is the overall goal of this? It is to encourage students and young adults to go make an well-informed vote.

City College could use Pipeline as not only an educational tool, but as a political tool to make a difference for our future country.