Students should be involved in politics

After college students played a vital role in the 2008 presidential election. Does anyone else get the feeling that Bradley is going to have virtually no role in the 2012 election?

Judging by the political activism on campus, the 2012 election is going to be a major letdown after the major strides in 2008.

College students were prominent in the 2008 election with over 22 million Americans ages 18-29 voting and having their voices heard. However, political pundits are questioning whether the high turnout was a fluke, and I would have to agree after looking around Bradley.

With three major political groups on campus, College Democrats, College Republicans and Students Promoting Political Involvement (SPPI), students have no reason not to be involved with voting on their future. All of these groups are dedicated to growing the political culture at Bradley, and students should be embracing them.

Yet, two phrases that I keep hearing are: “politics don’t affect me” and “both sides are stupid, so I don’t care about politics.”

Politics do effect each and every student at Bradley, and it’s time that students start acting like it. Healthcare, social security, and educational grants are three main subjects that everyone can relate to.

For healthcare, there are benefits and drawbacks to Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, such as staying on your parents’ insurance until you’re 26 years old, or the possibility that the act may force universities to stop offering student insurance policies.

Social security is important because nobody wants to pay for a service that won’t be available by the time we all reach retirement. Educational grants need attention because 86.7 percent of Bradley students apply for need-based financial aid, according to U.S. News & World Report. Nobody wants to pay the growing prices of tuition, so why don’t we tell politicians to do something about it?

Everyone agrees Democrats and Republicans have failed to work together in Congress, but it is our civic duty to vote for politicians that can represent our ideologies and work in a bi-partisan effort. Instead of focusing on the problem of partisan politics, we should be focusing on the solution and finding the politicians who will bring that attitude.

Last week featured a GOP debate at the Ronald Reagan Library and a speech by President Obama, where he presented the American Jobs Act. We, as students, have an opportunity to vote on our future and the direction that we want our country to go.

According to the Smith Career Center, only 65 percent of the 2009-10 graduating class entered the workforce after leaving Bradley. It’s unfair to any student to pay the high prices for a college education and struggle to find a job after graduation. It’s our job to remind Congress to create jobs for college graduates, and that we are the future of the United States.

I don’t have a preference whether you are Democrat, Republican, or Independent, but I do believe that everyone has a reason to be involved and there are no excuses not to be.