This story was written by Sam Leffers, Indiana Daily Student
Indiana U. students turned out Tuesday to debunk the stereotype of college students as apathetic citizens.
Students at Read Center showed up to vote in full force Tuesday, and a quick glance into other voting centers showed the same result.
Im really proud of students for actively engaging in the political system, junior Jamie Feldman said. Its been a pleasure to see it happen.
For most students, this was their first opportunity to vote in a presidential election. Most were excited, and some were wary because of the gravity of their newfound responsibility.
Im a little nervous, senior Marisa Sapper said. Now I have a say as to who the president is.
For some, the excitement goes beyond merely casting a ballot.
This election in particular, young people feel like theyre included in the process, Feldman said. Its kind of exciting being a political junkie.
Student voters didnt just bring themselves, either. Friends and sleepy roommates alike were dragged out of bed, pulled from the TV and, in some cases, stolen from class.
Freshman Mashilah Powell woke up her friends to go vote. One friend was supposed to attend a class, but Powell reordered her priorities.
I said Are you going to class, or are you going to vote? Powell said. And she said she was coming with me.
For Powell and many others, voting was a breeze.
We thought we were going to be waiting forever, she said. But we got right in and right out.
Still, there will always be students who value the democratic process less than others. As excited as some said they were to vote, others were deterred by potentially long lines.
A lot of my friends said they werent going to vote because the lines are too long, and I think that is the dumbest reason Ive ever heard, Powell said. As much as people have given for this country, and you wont go vote because the lines are too long? Thats pretty dumb.
Many students seem to agree with Powell about the gravity of this election. In the opinion of many students, Tuesday marked a critical turning point in American history.
This election is probably the most important we will have in decades, Feldman said. The way our country is going right now, we need a complete change.
Feldman didnt specify whether change meant a vote for Barack Obama or a vote for John McCain. In fact, she said she thinks change will come from either candidate.
No matter which way youre leaning, its important to get someone new in to stir things up, she said.
Sapper was a little more skeptical about the impact the new president will have on our countrys future.
I dont think that any one person is going to be able to come in and change things, necessarily, she said.
Whether change comes, students said they can rest easy knowing they made a difference.
The world is counting on students to get out and vote, Feldman said. This year I think theyre actually doing it.