Students lack political interest

Students lack political interest

Caitlin Husted

A poll of 100 Millikin students shows that only 13 percent watched the State of the Union address that took place on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Some were too busy, some did not know it was going on, but the majority of students did not care enough to watch it.

Junior Heather Koc said, “I didn’t even know it was going on, and I don’t really have an interest in stuff like that.”

This lack of political interest seems to be a problem today. Political Science Department Chair, Bobbi Gentry, has three reasons for why the younger generation is politically disconnected. One, they do not know how they feel politically; two, they do not see how politics is relevant to their lives; and three, they get caught in the political cycle of neglect.

The political cycle of neglect describes the politicians’ lack of attention to younger generations because of the younger generation’s lack of political interest. Out of the 100 Millikin students polled, around 17 percent had no idea that the State of the Union address was happening. Around 60 percent knew that it was going on, and they just did not care enough to watch it.

“There are issues that are relevant to young people’s lives that affect them, and they don’t take part,” Gentry said.

The State of the Union address may not seem like it is that important; however, it is a way for the American public to hear the President explain what he has done over the past year and what he plans to do over the next year.

What many members of the younger generation do not understand is the importance of current events in their future, which is why it is important to get involved now. What Obama decides to do with creating jobs, reducing the deficit, education, gun control and immigration reform will affect America’s future. If the younger generation does not get involved now, they are going to be less motivated to be involved later in life.

Many people just like to complain about current events in America but they do not care enough to take action. Gentry’s advice for students who want to make a difference is to get involved.
“You can only complain so much. You really need to take action if you want to see change,” Gentry said. “Write your elected officials, and let them know what you’re feeling.”