By Micaela Freeman | Staff Writer
The importance of being politically active, especially as a college student, is vital for not only a charged and politically informed campus, but also for a student’s personal growth. I believe, as a 19-year-old student, that my political views are not encouraged to be accepted throughout campus. With today’s politics, I believe we, the latest generation to vote, should be as politically charged as our predecessors.
Being politically educated makes a person powerful in many different realms of the fast paced world we live in. A college campus offers a bridge between politics and the real world. By being knowledgable in the world of politics, I am able to justify the opinions I like to voice by backing them up with facts and observations.
According to BestColleges.com, the most politically active college campus lies four miles from the White House. The location of American University directly affects the political charge of its students. However, the eighth most politically active university is almost 3,000 miles away: University of California – Berkeley.
Politics and policies implemented today are a driving force behind education and college students. The opportunities recent politics have offered to students our age to get involved are unwavering. For the first time, students feel the warmth of equality on a college campus due to the respect for diversity. College campuses around the nation have had increasing student activists and politically motivated students in the past few years.
However, I often feel questioned when I voice my political opinion at my age.
A politically active campus, especially a private one like Baylor, can change the lives of students and the roles they play in society by giving students the opportunity to have a platform and to voice their opinions in a respectful environment. Having an opinion is important, however, the way you voice your opinion is more important.
But, how can a student be both politically charged on a campus and believe that he or she isn’t distracted from his or her education?
The racial and political boundaries college students face everyday, whether on campus or off, should motivate them to raise their voices and contribute to the political discussions on their college campus.
Earlier this school year, students saw the Trump administration announce that DACA will not be implemented anymore; Congress was given a window to save it. The Obama-era program allows immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children to receive education be protected from deportation.
The announcement changed many lives of students and families, and yet, I heard nothing from my peers. I expected an outrage and what I believed to be a mainstream opinion became an ostracized one.
The class of 2020 was the youngest class to vote in the 2016 election. The election of 2016 left the nation with a diverging split of the Democratic and Republican parties.
I was eager to vote in the 2016 election and voice my thoughts to my peers and my government. The reaction I got was not what I expected.
With politics more alive than ever, why are college campuses, specifically private ones, dormant?
Often, college students feel that having a voice is rejecting the moral code their school adheres to.
My outcry for activism and recognition of today’s politics has been hushed multiple times in and out of the classroom. Often, I am told to be quiet and polite; I am urged to let the adults talk, and because I am liberal, I am offensive. I enjoy a political debate as much as any other teenager, but I expect to be respected.
As a student with what I believe is a very loud voice about politics and activism, I often feel ushered to keep quiet, and “blend in” with those around me.
The political discussion held on private campuses is that there is none except during election season or through organizations rather than by individual students.
Schools should serve to foster an environment that promotes inquisitiveness. Likewise, as fellow students, we need to hear each other out and value each others’ opinions and beliefs even though we may not agree with them. Politics shouldn’t be the elephant in the room just because we disagree sometimes.
Being politically vocal, as a college student, will not only allow create a voice for the college campus, but also give students the opportunity to participate in a world in which they are often deemed inadequate.