College Students: Yes, No, Maybe Someday


The New School

School of Visual Arts student Java Jacobs wears an President Obama 2012 pin. Photo: Anna Cooperberg.

Younger voters seem much less excited to vote in this presidential election than they did in 2008, and at The New School in Greenwich Village, many feel that they are uninformed about the election.

Kelsey Lidsky, a 24-year-old from Laredo, Texas and a master’s student at The New School for Drama, voted for President Barack Obama a week ago via absentee ballot. She thinks he has a good chance of winning. Lidsky said she watched the debates, but noted, “I’m not the most politically inclined person, and I haven’t done as much research as I would have liked… [I’m] not as informed as I’d like to be.” She cited women’s issues, particularly pertaining to abortion, as her priority in this election.

Women’s issues are also the most important for Stella Sender, 18, who is a first-time voter and student at Eugene Lang The New School for Liberal Arts. She is from Los Angeles, CA, but is voting today from New York despite the fact that she, too, feels uninformed. “I actually haven’t done enough research on all the issues, which is why I’m voting for the President,” she said. “I don’t want to put my two cents in if I don’t know what I’m voting for.” She said that she chose to vote for Obama because she believes that Governor Mitt Romney will abolish Planned Parenthood and disallow abortions.

Some students aren’t planning on voting. Parson’s students Raika Alasegawa, 19, and Jayne Lee, 20, both forgot to register to vote. Of Parson’s students in general, Alasegawa joked, “We’re very self-absorbed.” Both said they were not politically inclined. “I haven’t really been following [the election] because I don’t have a TV, and I don’t really follow the news, but I plan on changing that soon,” said Lee. Alasegawa concurred. “I didn’t know it was Election [Day] because… before, it was all about Hurricane Sandy,” she said. “I turned on the radio and then I heard it.”

However, international students have strong opinions on the election. Java Jacobs, 21, is a student at the School of Visual Arts and says that one day, she’d like to be able to vote as a United States citizen. “I’m really involved in politics in general, and I think it would be a terrible mistake if Romney won,” she said. Even though she cannot vote, she pinned an Obama button to her coat’s lapel.

Nur Gokus, a 25-year-old from Istanbul, Turkey, is a student at Parson’s The New School for Design. He said that most of his friends are voting for Obama, and that they don’t like Romney. “I wish the best for the United States,” he said. “If I could vote, I would vote for Obama.” Gokus pointed out that no matter their political inclination, the election is on everyone’s minds today, especially on social media. “For example, I was looking on my Facebook and… right now, all [my friends’] posts are about the election. I didn’t see anything else.”