College students are placed into several different stereotypes. Many are denounced for leaning too far left and fostering “radical” ideologies. Critics accuse students of being ill informed and woefully uninterested in politics.
However, students play a bigger part in politics than voting turnout numbers might suggest. The process of being involved starts with an opinion. An opinion develops with research and experience and ultimately makes an impact once it is vocalized.
Throughout the year, Central Michigan University students have made a strong impact by voicing their beliefs. Through RSOs, campus events and critical discussion, students shape the political identity of this town in more ways than they might realize.
When it comes to politics, CM Life has received criticism of being too liberal and trying to sway student opinion. In reality, the approach of the newsroom is just the opposite: Student opinion influences our coverage.
We can only communicate with our audience the information that is communicated with us. If more stories about the Democratic Party are published, it is only because they are more active on our campus.
Last week, U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) visited campus to talk with students and the community about current issues in Congress. He urged students to be mindful of hot button policies regarding civil rights and to be involved in the political discourse.
Two weeks ago, Congressman Gary Peters, another democrat, visited campus to do the same. In the heat of election season, Peters explained how his purpose for visiting was to introduce the candidates and issues.
“We want to make sure that [students] know who’s running and who the group supports,” he said.
The College Democrats RSO has been very effective in bringing their point of view to campus and informing students how to get involved.
We would also like to hear the other side, too.
The Republican Party has done little to rally support, or remind students they can be a part of the process.
We would like to extend an invitation for Gov. Rick Snyder to come to CMU and talk to our community. We urge the College Republicans RSO to facilitate the meeting.
If students truly are uninformed and uninterested in politics, such an event on campus would surely help change their minds. If we truly are too liberal, such a discussion might help us see from a different perspective.
Political involvement starts with an opinion. Especially on a college campus, opinion is shaped by events and discussions on campus.
The more well-rounded our opinions are, the stronger the conversation.