Dispelling the myths of millennial voters

Katherine Blanner, Staff Writer

“You heard it here first, I’m going to run for president in 2048,” said Rockhurst University junior from Omaha, Nebraska, Zachary Pohlman.

Pohlman, a college student and millennial, has declared his hopeful run for the head of office in response to his sentiments towards the 2016 election year.

Millennials are unfortunately stereotyped as lackadaisical, easily offended, and Facebook informed. However, first-time presidential election voters are vastly anything but. Raised by the offspring of baby boomers, young twentysomethings have grown up in a post-9/11 America where politics have continually shaped daily life and the ways in which daily interactions are conducted. Many understand the duty as one that is intertwined with the overall greater good of the country.

Contrary to popular belief, millennials, as a whole, are informed voters that invest their time and energy in the concerns of the government. Just as many Americans, to fulfill their civic duty this election year, college students headed to the polls to cast their ballots in one of the toughest elections in years.

“People keep saying that the lesser of two evils is still evil,” said Erin Spelger, Rockhurst University Junior from Overland Park, Kansas, “but is logical to conclude that one is less evil than the other and therefore a step in the right direction.” Spelger discussed her ideas and thoughts on the election and its potential outcomes, along with her hopes that her informed civil duty may help her preferred candidate gain the presidency.

Sarah Pezold, a junior from O’Fallon, Missouri, understands the debates and candidates in a different light: “This election has been so personal, in that the candidates spent more time attacking each other than discussing policy. [However], if it goes how I’m hoping it goes, I think there is some excellent policy work that can be done.” Pezold continued to discuss her interest in immigration reform and her own personal connection to those who express a need for such a policy.Pezold’s investment in local and nation-wide politics is a sentiment that many young voters shared today.

Hayley Hyer, a sophomore from Kansas City, Missouri, showed her support by sporting a shirt with a “nasty woman” patch as she went to the polls to cast her vote.

Sophomore Michelle Flavin from St. Louis, Missouri, and a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), stressed the importance of fulfilling one’s civic duty by casting a vote in elections.

Senior Kelsey Burrus, understanding the ways that advertising and marketing works and their relationship to presidential campaigns, has decided not to cast a vote because, in her opinion, the candidates are do not fulfill the standards of a president. “It’s just a whole bunch of shenanigans I don’t want to participate in,” she said.

In addition to their personal ideas regarding the presidency, many students at Rockhurst University expressed concern for post-election peace. “This election is like a bad trip to the dentist. I have concerns regarding people’s abilities to compromise [after the election],” said Jackson Lamping, Rockhurst University Junior from Overland Park, Kansas.

Pohlman expressed an interest in a peaceful transition for the election, saying, “If each person does their part to be peaceful, hopefully the amalgamation of those efforts will yield peace.”

It is inevitable that there will be disagreements over the election of a new president. However, what unites the country is hopefully stronger than what divides us, and that is the genuine desire to attain the highest good possible. Many young voters and millennials at Rockhurst University strive to keep themselves informed on the matters of the politics of their country and accordingly form their opinion.