July 13, 2020

Staying Politically Engaged on Campus

posted on: Thursday August 30, 2018

A person marking their application for an absentee ballot.

Absentee ballots make it easy to vote in your state’s election while on campus. Nicholas Crenshaw ’20/The Cowl.

by Andrea Traietti ’21

Asst. Opinion Editor

While being back inside the “PC Bubble” can be comforting, it is important not to forget the larger world that exists outside of this campus, and the reality that even while we are on campus, that world is affecting us—and we have the power to affect it, too.

This fall will be an important one for the course of the nation, as midterm elections approach in November.

On a national level, there is the potential for major shifts in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Additionally, there are 36 states holding elections for governor.

It is increasingly important that college students make the push to remain politically conscious and active while on campus, especially in the coming months.

First and foremost, students’ rights and responsibilities follow them to campus, and voting is one of those responsibilities.

Voter turnout amongst 18-29-year-olds is alarmingly low. Without this turnout, the electorate is composed primarily of older generations who often have vastly different priorities than younger groups.

There are several concrete steps students can and should take in the coming weeks.

Most importantly, they should check to make sure they are registered to vote. Vote.org is a great resource that makes it very easy to check your registration status.

Should students discover they have not yet registered, they can check the deadline specific to their state and register to vote on the very same site.

Once registered, students should apply for an absentee ballot, another service provided by vote.org.

Aside from voting, there are more personal ways that students can stay politically engaged and connected with the world off campus.

Through the Providence College Bookstore, students can subscribe to the New York Times online for just $1 a week. Other periodicals have similar discounted rates for college students.

These subscriptions offer a great opportunity to stay connected and up-to-date with current events, which is important considering that the news students hear on a daily basis at PC is so campus-driven.

Another great way to keep up with the news is through social media. While some students may not have a TV, the time, or the focus to tune into the news each night, most major news networks have Twitter accounts which they use to share stories and articles.

Though these ideas might seem obvious, it is so important to keep them in mind during this busy time, and going forward in the future.

We must not let the busyness of our own lives and the familiarity of the PC campus limit or restrict our worldview.

Instead, we should use our PC education as a lens through which we should not only view and analyze the world beyond campus, but also learn to become active participants in the advancement of our society.

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