Rocking the College Vote

Editor's Note: Welcome to Off Campus,'s new feature that will provide our readers with a glimpse into what's on the minds of America's college students and student journalists. Each week, Off Campus will present a column or editorial selected from student newspapers across the country.

In reality, it is not that big of a deal. I mean you go in, punch a card and leave. So why do so few college students vote? The answer remains a mystery to me.

Many people will give the argument that one vote will never make a difference. While I cannot deny that each individual vote may get lost in the crowd, I also realize that it is more of the collective vote of which I am a part that makes the impact. The difference that college students could make as voters is virtually unlimited. Imagine if everyone voted. Politicians would have to be more responsive to our needs. Maybe there would not be budget cuts, and I am very certain that they would not be raising tuition each year.

It seems so petty not to vote. By not voting you are refusing your right as a citizen for your voice to be heard. I am not sure why you would want that. But I know that I want to be heard. I want to be an active citizen in this country not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because I am proud of the United States, and I love being a citizen. Citizenship is the very privilege that many immigrants fight to receive each day.

I sometimes wonder if I would shame my ancestors by choosing not to vote. Thousands of people died in the past to give us the right to vote. I know that as a woman, others fought to give me a vote. Women lost their families, friends, respect and dignity to convince lawmen to change the Constitution. Could I stand in front of them today and tell them that I just did not feel like voting? I feel as if I would get no pity. My excuses of little time and better things to do would make little difference to them. I can only wonder how important voting must have been to them. So many felt as if it was more important than their lives. So how can I say confidently that I cannot vote because I do not have enough time? Unless you could stand in front of the people who died for the right to vote and say with confidence that you had better things to do, then I think that we should all make our way to the polls on Nov. 5.

Voting can give us all many advantages and very few, if no, disadvantages. Voting gives our age group all the power we need to incite change for the things we do not like about the government. As I was listening to a leader of a major political party speak the other day, I was angered when he said that politicians paid little attention to the needs of college students. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that it is our own fault. Why would they give to us if we do not give to them?

Please vote. All of us can make an impact on the country and its policies. If you do not like what you see then change it. It takes so little time. In the words of my eighth-grade history teacher, "Citizenship is not a spectator sport."

The column above is from Technician, the student-run campus newspaper at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. The Fox News Channel is available to NCSU students through their campus cable system.

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