Midterm exams might be upon us, but midterm elections have not yet occurred. However, they are approaching much faster than many students realize, and with the importance of this election cycle, it is crucial that students remember to go out and vote. However, one of the problems with encouraging students to vote is that many are still uninformed about what we are voting for and why it is important. While many students are becoming increasingly aware and active in politics, especially since the 2016 presidential election, there are still some who are clueless when it comes to politics in our state and country.
Recently, The Daily Campus spoke with over 100 freshmen to discuss the upcoming elections with them. Out of these freshmen, many of them explained that they are concerned with choosing a candidate because they felt disconnected from them. While students are aware of many of the social issues and scandals facing the candidates, as this is one thing that is often highlighted in the news, many were more concerned with the economic policies of the candidates, as this will affect the university the most. Especially with recent budget cuts coming to the university over the next few years, the economic policies of the candidates running for office in Connecticut are increasingly important.
This is not just a problem in Connecticut, but all across the country. We are increasingly caught up in the personal lives and scandals of politicians, often leaving their actual beliefs and policies to be overlooked. While the personal lives of politicians are important in some regards (we don’t want too many corrupt and distasteful individuals running our country), the main thing we need to know about our politicians is how they will help our country, state and communities.
Without this information, it is no wonder that UConn students feel lost when it comes to electing officials. After the gubernatorial debate held at UConn, many students reported not liking the candidates because they seemed “too cookie cutter” or “(not) focused on real policy.” These issues may be problems with the candidates, but also show that the information they are giving is not detailed enough to instill confidence in their candidacy. Politicians and the media are of course not the only ones to blame when it comes to keeping us informed on candidates. If students do research on their own, they are sure to find information regarding candidates’ proposed policies and changes. However, with all of the debates and forums that are being held to support and publicize candidates, it would be helpful if these events actually told us what each candidate believed.
Rather than focusing on bashing each other and being the most personable candidate, those running for office should try to educate the public in order for them to make an educated decision on who to vote for. With the importance of the midterm elections this year, educated voters are the most important factor in electing qualified officials.