Politics and the College Campus

Throughout the history of the United States, the college campus has been a hotbed for political activity. While politics has changed through the years, the passion young students show for social causes remains incredibly strong. As students enter their college years, they are becoming more aware of the world around them. They understand what it means to be a citizen, and they are starting to form opinions about how government and society interact. Many people picture college campuses to run rampant with liberal ideals, but there is a healthy mix from both the left and the right wings.

One way to get involved is to actually join your college’s student government. You will gain a firsthand look at politics in motion. The college’s board of trustees and administration listen carefully to their students’ concerns. Students can have a say in matters anywhere from new construction on campus to how the college police handle certain situations. The saying, “all politics is local,” especially rings true on the college campus. There are so many decisions that need to be made to properly run a campus that it is imperative that the students actually have a legitimate hand in governing the school.

With the push in recent national political campaigns to capture the “young” vote, college campuses have seen a rise in political activism. The majority of college students are of the legal voting age so it makes sense that major political parties would want to sway these voters while they are still young and impressionable. The goal here is to have students align themselves with a particular party and then, as the thinking goes, they will be in that party for life. Of course, this isn’t always the case. During the most recent Presidential campaign, both candidates spent considerable time touring college campuses to make sure that students knew that their vote mattered.

As you start to gravitate in a certain political direction, remember that it is not always advantageous to talk about politics. There are proper times when you can and should voice your opinion. Be especially careful about airing your political beliefs in the middle of a class discussion. You never know how your professor or other students feel and you don’t want to stoke the fire. Use your college experience to listen to differing viewpoints so that you can make sound decisions about where you stand on the major issues of the day.

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