As the 2016 presidential election grew near, The VOICE surveyed Mercer students and found most weren’t very interested in politics, didn’t like the candidates, or were just pessimistic in general.

For example, Gahabree Gordon told The VOICE, “I think Hillary is going to win, but me personally, I’m not voting. I don’t think either one of them are good candidates. This is the first election I’ve been able to vote in, I was so excited to vote turning 18 years old and it’s like ‘I’ve gotta pick between them?!’ I can wait another four years. I’ll be ok. I’m expecting things to get worse but I’m praying for better.”

More recent reporting suggests that following the election, some portion of the student body has been motivated to participate more in politics.

The VOICE interviewed Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, who represents the college’s districts, to ask her her views on the current political climate and how it relates to college students.

VOICE: What role do you see young people playing in our current political climate? What can students do to advocate for themselves?

Watson Coleman: I think that students that are eligible to vote represent a huge floss of potential voters, and I think your voice can be best heard through voting. I also think that organizations on your campus that are designed to educate on issues can be very influential. It is really important to belong to a critical group…You are very important. You need to be reaching out to people like me…showing up and getting involved.

VOICE: What should students be focusing on with the new leadership in the White House?

Watson Coleman: I think this is an unprecedented time where your attention is required on so many levels, there are things that are happening at the available, there are issues that are very important that are happening out of the department of health, the women’s right to choose. There are things that are going to be happening in the Department of Labor that have to do with things like equal pay. There are things coming out of the Department of Justice, like your voting rights. This…requires people like me to not just focus on one thing, but stay alert on a number of issues and, stay as involved as I can. Same goes for all of you.

VOICE: How do you plan to best represent the interests of college students from our district?

Watson Coleman: I have been engaged in higher education, so I’m very much in tune to affordability in the state of NJ. I’ll be paying attention student debt, expanding Pell grants. I have always tried to support students who are going to school part time with subsidies. Accessibility, diversity, education: I try to stay close to college community.

VOICE: How does a member of a minority party in the House maximize his or her influence when the House rules (unlike the Senate) are designed to maximize the power of the majority at the expense of the minority?

Watson Coleman: You are speaking to the frustration we are all feeling right now. There are a number of things we are committed to right now, [like] seeking attention on resolutions, and [continuing] to highlight the role of Russia in the current presidency. We are committed, although we recognize that we don’t control the agenda and we don’t have the number of votes. What we do have is relationships and we try to energize people. Even perhaps with Republicans–if they weren’t so doggone scared of what the right wing would do to them– when they do exercise their heartfelt response to something, they’re not alone.

Print Friendly
Share this:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumbler Email

u8x7co8

Tags: , , , , ,

Jasmine Santalla
advert

Comments are closed.

Transgender discussion panel succeeds despite vandalism

Including panelists, 20 people attended a transgender issues panel held at Mercer in SC 104 on April 16, 2015 despite […]

The VOICE supports Press For Ethics Week

The student journalists on the staff of The College VOICE, are just that, students learning the craft of journalism, how […]

Philadelphia Flower Show displays feature Dutch designs and student entry takes home gold

This year the Philadelphia Flower Show theme was, “Holland Flowering the World” which inspired entrants to come up with new […]

Snyder puts Avengers on ice in Vikings home opener

Mercer County Community College’s baseball team got to play on home turf for the first time on Thursday, March 23. […]

What the flock? Suburban chickens rule the roost

We are in the middle of a chicken craze. Residents of towns across the state have taken to backyard poultry […]

After Reddit mocks diversity disaster, college uses real student successes for promo models

When entering MCCC, you can’t miss the life-sized images of students hanging from the lamp posts lining the perimeter campus […]

New bill would tighten pedestrian responsibilities

South Jersey assemblyman Chris Brown introduced the Driver and Pedestrian Mutual Responsibility Act on On Feb. 6, 2017. If passed, […]

LGBT students need to come out and show their pride at MCCC

My name is Zayvion Thompson and I am proud openly bisexual male.I am currently a second year Communications and New […]

STUDENT PROFILE: Interview with Colette Leonard James

The VOICE’s ongoing STUDENT PROFILES series explores the lives of individual Mercer students and their unique, surprising, often courageous stories. […]

Friends can be found even on commuter community college campus, if you look

A common complaint heard on campus is that people come to class and then immediately leave for home or to […]

Ellucian NO! App falls short of promise

Last fall, Mercer launched Ellucian Go as their all-purpose college navigation app. According to the Ellucian website, the app is […]

New York’s Times Square really is worth the bucket list

The array of lights, sounds, billboards, smells, the buzzing hive of activity, and all the yellow taxis have made Times […]

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.
Social links powered by Ecreative Internet Marketing