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Students voice opinions about local elections

With the upcoming elections on Tuesday, Weber State University students have the opportunity to vote for candidates who will affect the university.

WSU student Ashley Brimhall said it is important for students to vote.

“It helps you contribute in the community and get your opinion out there,” she said.

Some students, however, do not plan on voting at all.

“I don’t follow politics,” said Jordan Freer, a psychology major who is not registered to vote. “It doesn’t really interest me.”

Other students are unable to vote because they missed the deadline. Julynette Martinez, a general studies major, said she plans on registering next year.

“I’m very excited to vote,” she said.

She also said money is an important issue to her.

“Money to pay for college and federal grants for college are important,” Martinez said.

Some students have voted early, including general studies major Madison Murphy.

“First voting ever — it was awesome,” she said.

Murphy said voting is important to her.

“I’ve grown up with a very politically opinioned father, and so I’ve been inspired by the whole political process,” she said.

Murphy said she also believes the economy is an important issue in the local elections.

“The general answer is the economy, but it really is important, because with us kind of starting out in the world and starting to care more about money and stuff, we want a good economic system that’s not going to screw us over as we are trying to learn how to be responsible,” she said.

Murphy said this issue affects college students because, if the economy is bad, that will affect tuition costs and affect students in ways they might not notice.

Brimhall said she thinks it is important for candidates to think about the economy.

“Pertaining to finances, a lot of people go for financial aid,” she said. “Some students move out and then need to move back home. The economy is really important.”

Robert Aube, an English major, said he is concerned about a few issues.

“Federal funding for student aid is a huge issue,” Aube said. “After that, the general economy, health and everything, and mak(ing) sure there are jobs for our degrees.”

Other students are concerned about how current elections will affect their futures.

“What I’m concerned about is national debt,” said Katherine Pierson, an English major who registered to vote earlier this year. “It will affect our future. We’re young now, but in a few years we will be running the country, and decisions they make now will affect how we live our lives.”

Sarah Kortkamp, a chemistry major, is not only a student, but also a mother.

“Looking at education is a major concern for me,” she said.

She said she is concerned with education at both the college and lower levels because of her child.

“The state does make funding decisions for funding education,” Kortkamp said.

Sam Cottrell, a physical science major, said he is concerned about who the candidates are.

“Loans are a big deal, and I know some candidates aren’t huge on giving government funds for student loans,” Cottrell said.

One of the other issues students mentioned that they would like the candidates of the local elections to consider is tuition costs.

“Trying to work on getting funds down for tuition (is important) — it’s kind of expensive,” said Rachel Bierer, another WSU student.

Gary Johnson, a political science professor at WSU, said it is important for college students to vote in local elections.

“They decide on budgets for higher education, new buildings on campus, tuition costs . . .” he said. “They have a very large effect on college students.”

Johnson also said a person’s vote has more weight in the local elections, because they have a much lower turnout than the presidential elections do.

“Young people who become involved in politics in their teens and 20s tend to be involved for the rest of their lives,” Johnson said. “It’s important to become involved.”

Since September, there has been a national competition to see how many students each college can get to register to vote. About 15 percent of WSU students have registered to vote through this contest.

Brady Harris, the legislative vice president at WSU, said part of the reason why so many students have registered is because Romney is running, and also because “the thought that youth don’t vote is misconstrued. A lot do care about where the country is heading.”

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