Several students at University of La Verne plan to lend their voice and give their vote this year at the upcoming presidential election.
Although students categorize themselves within several different political parties, a majority of students polled plan on voting for Barrack Obama this November.
In the wake of the first presidential and vice presidential debates, the race between President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has tightened.
Students are now taking a serious look at the candidates to decide who they think will best represent their needs.
Eleven students from different years and majors participated in an informal survey.
Of the 11 students surveyed, four were registered Republicans, three were registered Democrats, one was a registered Green Party members, two were registered Independents, and one was not registered.
One student planned to vote for Romney, seven for Obama, one for a third party candidate; one was undecided and one is not voting this year.
While none of the students shared the same overwhelming support that was present in the last election, some feel strongly enough to go out on Nov. 6 and give their vote in the hopes of re-electing Obama.
“I think Obama is a step in the direction of change we need,” said Rebecca Aguilar, a senior sociology major.
“While he might not be the right candidate, he is what we need right now.”
For some students, such as Gabrielle Ontiveros, a senior speech communications major, Obama’s social policies such as gay rights and his focus on education are what have secured their vote.
Other students, like Aaron Colby, a senior political science major from La Verne, agree with Obama’s economic message.
“I believe the rhetoric that he and the rest of the Democratic Party have,” Colby said. “Rich people need to pay their fair share and the government has a place within society that’s very important.”
Despite not being registered as Democrats, a few students plan to vote outside their political lines this year.
“I’m voting for Obama because I like his ideals and what he stands for hasn’t really changed,” said Amanda Cox, a senior German major who is registered to the Green party.
Mary Anne Mendoza, a sophomore political science major, said she will not be voting for Romney despite being a registered Republican.
“I don’t think that our nominee embodies what our entire party stands for,” Mendoza said.
“I’m not going to settle for a nominee when there are candidates out there who hold values similar to mine, despite a difference in party,” Mendoza said. “I just can’t stand behind a man who can’t even stand behind his own decisions.”
There are some students that are still undecided and do not feel strongly about either of the two leading candidates like Mumin Khan, a sophomore computer science major who is a registered Republican.
“The candidates are unreliable and not relatable,” said Khan. “I want an American to run America, not a politician.”
Despite disenchantment with the candidates and the domination of the two party system in general, Ari Lamb, a junior psychology major will be sticking to her party and voting for Mitt Romney.
“I feel like Obama had a lot of empty promises and he seems to be making the same promises now,” Lamb said.
“I think he had ample time to prove himself, he hasn’t, so I’m throwing a bone to Romney because his plans sound better than any echo I’ve heard from Obama.”
While most students will vote this year, it was apparent that many of them did not feel excited about or especially supportive of any of the candidates this year.
It can be noted, however, that students have been examining their options very carefully and have not hopped on to any bandwagons.
Gitty Amini, associate professor of political science, said there are important factors undecided students need to look at before making their decision.
“They should care about which candidate will do more for student loans and what they will do for the economy because students will be looking for jobs after college,” Amini said.
“You can get sucked in by the rhetoric of either of the partisans and it’s important for students to do their own research.”
Amini said that for young people it might be difficult to get interested in matters when some are not relevant to them yet.
Students must become familiar with the philosophies of each candidate in order to make a clear judgement, Amini said.
Katie Madden can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.