Bloomsburg Students Can Make a Difference


The race for the 2012 presidential candidacy will be determined by how swing states vote.

Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes, is a well-known swing state. Typically, the major cities Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Harrisburg vote democratic, while the rest of the state votes republican. College towns in rural parts, such as Bloomsburg could play a key role in deciding the fate of how Pennsylvania votes.

A survey was given to 10, randomly selected Bloomsburg University students asking them two questions about voting: Are you registered to vote? Are you going to vote in the November for the presidential election?

All ten students said they were registered to vote, but only three out of 10 said they plan on voting during November election.

The students surveyed who said they were not voting in November were then asked why and the majority of responses came down to convenience.

Heather Shanefield, a junior communications major, said she was registered to vote, but was not going to vote in the upcoming election.

“The whole process is a hassle, my registration is for back home and the elections are on a Tuesday. I would have to switch my registration to Bloomsburg and I want mine to be for where I live,” stated Shanefield.

Other students like, Susanne Garvin a junior major, has no intentions of voting due to the new voter identification laws, which take away Pennsylvania citizen’s right to vote unless they have a specific form of id with them.

“I do not have a driver’s license and the new Pennsylvania law forcing everyone who votes to have a specific type of i.d. is stupid. It is unfair and inconvenient for me to have to go out of my way to pick up a form of identification, when I am already going out of my way to make it to a polling booth” said Garvin.

Bloomsburg University has attempted to alleviate the problem for students without a license by issuing a temporary id students can take to the polls. The only problem with this is that many students that fall under that category do not want to take the time to go through that.

Other popular reasons why students said they were not going to vote were because they did not like either candidate, they do not care for politics, and they don’t feel their vote will be missed.

So why should a Bloomsburg University student vote?

According to EducationInsider online, here are the top ten reasons why it is important to vote:

  1. It is your right to vote.
  2. Your vote does matter.
  3. Shape the social agenda.
  4. Economic policies will affect your future.
  5. Help shape foreign policy.
  6. Have your say on environmental issues.
  7. You’re part of an important voting bloc.
  8. Politicians won’t address student needs without student votes.
  9. Demonstrate concern for the next generation.
  10. Honor past sacrifices.

Bloomsburg University students are a part of the millennial generation, a generation that could rival the baby boomer generation and swing the election.

The 2012 presidential election could set a new standard for voting, one where the future job force decides what they want and that trend could start with Bloomsburg University.