By Isaiah Chisolm
With the local elections taking place this past Tuesday in Storrs-Mansfield, the expectation for some was that students would get more involved in the voting process. After all, the undergraduate population makes up a large portion of Mansfield.
However, students at the University of Connecticut don’t seem as interested.
Some UConn students don’t plan to vote in the local election and aren’t even familiar with the candidates on campus who are running. In fact, some students at UConn say they weren’t even aware that the local elections were happening at all.
Daniel Callaghan, a senior at UConn, says he feels the biggest issue with voting on campus is that many students aren’t from the region and don’t feel like a part of the Mansfield community.
“I think a big problem with millennials voting in Mansfield is that a lot of us are here for UConn obviously,” Callaghan says. “ We don’t really feel like we live in Mansfield. We feel like we live in UConn at Storrs. We don’t really feel like members of the local community.”
It was reported that during the last local election only 14 to 20 students on campus came to vote. This number pales in comparison to UConn’s total undergraduate population, which is more than 19,000 students.
On the other hand, some students argue that it’s important for candidates to spread the word to encourage students to vote.
UConn senior Peter Carcia says the candidates need to not only do a better job reaching out students on campus, but also need to make sure that students feel included in the issues these candidates are trying to address.
“I would want to know how it would affect me because then it would peak my interest,” Garcia says. “If I knew it wasn’t going to affect me or my friends or the way I was living or anything big, then I wouldn’t care.”
It is agreed upon by many, however, that millennial voters need to do a better job searching for these issues and making politics a priority, because soon many of the local and even national issues they face will appear on their door step whether they like it or not.
As of 2015, estimates say that the United States’ population includes about 83.1 million millennials.
UConn senior Devon Sexton says that millennials have to do better in the political realm because local issues are important and towns can only do so much to entice the students.
“I think we have to have more of an active voice in different areas because the town can only do so much to try to entice us and we are more the ones that have to go about it ourselves.”