Breaking the Political Silence at UD

University of Delaware Students

By Lindsey Spina

By Lindsey Spina
Unigo Campus Rep at Delaware

College can be a student’s protective bubble, a place that keeps all the bad out and all the good in – however, around election season, that all changes. 

With the 2008 election only two weeks away, UD students are evaluating the issues that affect them in order to make a decision of who to vote for.  Some of these topics include the War, the economy, and healthcare.

Junior Danielle Allen said education is the issue most prevalent to her.

“I care about the candidates’ stand on educational policies,” Allen said.  “So far I like Obama’s policies, because he seems to have more in store for teachers.”

Allen, an English Education major, said her future as a teacher concerns her.

“The future of tuition money for graduate school is something that worries me,” she said.  “I also hope whoever becomes president has a plan to raise teachers’ salaries.”

According to Professor Stuart Kaufman, who teaches political science and international relations at UD, the war in Iraq is an issue certain students may feel connected to.

“The war in Iraq is interesting to students who may or may not be considering a military career after graduation,” Kaufman said.  “The possibility of a new war with Iran should also be relevant to students, and would also make the war in Iraq look like a picnic.”

Kaufman also said issues such as gay marriage and student loans are relevant to students.

“Gay marriage laws affect those who might want one,” he said.  “Student loans and financial aid policies also affect many students, because some will find it harder, or even impossible, to afford school.”

Kaufman said there are other concerns pertinent to students, but may be more personal.

“Other issues are important to students because they are passionately committed to the principles involved,” he said.  “I have worked with some students who are especially trying to address the genocide in Darfur.”

Junior Dan Wolf said other issues such as the economy are important to him.

“Right now I’m concerned with how much money is in my bank account,” Wolf said.  “Getting this economy up would be my number one concern as a presidential candidate.”

Wolf said the war in Iraq is less of a problem.

“I don’t really think the war has had any effect on me now and I don’t think it will in the future,” Wolf said.  “Obviously something needs to be done to fix the ongoing problem over there, but personally, it doesn’t pertain to me.”

Kaufman believes students are, and will continue to be, unaware of the situation in Iraq.

“Most students will probably continue to ignore the war, quite successfully,” he said.  “Some students will join the fight, some will be hurt, a few will probably die, and most students will continue not to notice.  All this is true regardless of how long the war continues.”

There are multiple measures students can take to become more aware of important issues.  Reading the paper for ten minutes or briefly watching the news are just two of many outlets students can utilize. 

Kaufman said it is our job as young adults to inform ourselves about current issues.

“Students are grownups.  The information is easily available, and the UD faculty and staff work hard every day to make it more so,” he said.  “It is up to each individual to decide what he or she wants to know, and to go out and learn it.”