When the MSNBC video came out in early September showing University students to be apathetic and ignorant regarding the newly passed voter ID laws in the state of Pennsylvania, no one was more disappointed in our student body than The Bucknellian staff.
After printing multiple articles related to the voter ID expiration date issue, we were dismayed to find out that students didn’t seem to care about this piece of news that could directly affect them and require them to take action. Our faith in the campus’ political involvement was diminished.
As this week’s election continued to approach though, we were excited to see student interest and involvement in the election skyrocket, something the video had caused us to doubt. Bucknell Student Government (BSG) ran a campaign imploring students to register to vote, providing them with the opportunity to register in the LC mall at their convenience. With this initiative, we believe many students registered to vote and followed through on election day who may not have done so without BSG’s encouragement and efforts.
Beyond simply giving students a convenient registration and voting location, the campus came together to provide resources for students to learn more about the parties, their candidates and their stances on different issues.
The Conservatives Club and College Democrats wrote opinions pieces to be printed in The Bucknellian in the weeks leading up to the election. President Bravman moderated a presidential debate on the evening of Nov. 5 and had students present their political views. Viewings were held around campus to watch the debates, as well as Election Day coverage on Nov. 6.
Election Day on campus proved even further that our students aren’t as apathetic and uneducated on politics as the MSNBC video originally showed. All over campus, students, faculty and staff could be seen proudly displaying their “I voted” stickers. Discussion of the election was inevitable in every class and group meeting. WVBU hosted a live broadcast in the Bison with video interviews. Groups were eagerly awaiting results throughout the evening in dormitories, apartments and fraternities. Our participation and strong attitudes toward this year’s election across the campus couldn’t be ignored.
Regardless of the Democratic Party’s victory with President Barack Obama winning a second term and the upset of the Republican Party over Mitt Romney’s defeat, the campus came together to have their voices heard in the United States and in the state of Pennsylvania. While our staff can’t even come to a finite decision on which candidate was the best option for the next four years, we did come to a decision quite easily over our impression of this campus’ political interests. We were pleased to see such an active community, especially following such a disappointing and embarrassing video displaying our apathy on the same exact subject.