By TNH Editorial Staff
Around this time back in 2012, University of New Hampshire students seemed to be fully invested in the approaching presidential election. Chalked-up messages filled the sidewalks and voices of opinion echoed throughout campus, revealing a young generation of new voters ready to participate in selecting their leaders.
We certainly hope that a similar passion returns in the next few weeks as the congressional elections near.
First, it is important that students head to the polls in the same numbers as they did in 2012. Although elections for the U.S. Senate and House may not be as glamorous as the race for president, it certainly is no less important. Electing a senator or house member from your home state, wherever that may be, is far more representative of your personal political beliefs and needs than the election of the president.
The same can be said on the state level. If you are a citizen of New Hampshire, the decisions made in Concord will likely have a greater impact on your daily life than the decisions made in Washington, D.C. In this cycle, Granite Staters will make the decision of whether they wish to continue under the governance of the Democrat Maggie Hassan or start a new chapter with Republican candidate Walt Havenstein. Students hailing from Massachusetts, who make up 25 percent of the student body, have an open race for governor that deserves some attention as well between Charlie Baker and Martha Coakley.
After you have made the decision to participate, it is important you know whom you are voting for. Now is the time to educate yourself on the candidates, and see who lines up with your values and political interests.
The place to start this self-education is by reading the news. In a time where most people would fail to name who their congressman is, or even what district they reside in, we must change this trend. Pick up the newspaper, whether it be this one or another, or click on a site and catch up on the races as we continue to move through the next few weeks. We truly are lucky to live in a nation where we have this much access to the government, and it is each individual’s decision whether they wish to use it.
It is unsettling how often we hear students say they “don’t care” about the news. Some say the news is too upsetting or that they don’t trust the media. You as an individual can make the decision as to who in the media you trust, but it is important that you put your trust somewhere. We live a UNH bubble and rely on the media to be our eyes and ears to what is going on outside of the Durham town lines. And election season may be the time where these eyes and ears are needed the most.
At The New Hampshire, we cover politics from the student perspective; we try to focus on the issues we think students are most concerned with. And we certainly try our best to reach as many corners of the conversation with the resources we have.
So we hope you stay tuned as we turn to October and the weeks leading to the election continue to count down. We promise it will be an interesting show.