The Freshman vote
Compiled by Jennifer Marcussen
On Aug. 25, 999 freshmen began classes at the University, encountering a number of firsts in a short time period. But one first had to hold off a couple of months — voting. Members of this year's incoming freshman class will participate in their first presidential election Nov. 4. According to Washington Post columnist George Will, young voters (ages 18-29) are expected to turn out like never before. Here's a look at the issues important to them and some of the deciding factors in candidate selection.
"Christian values … that there is a moral right and wrong and that life starts at conception and deserves the same rights as those born. Conservative values … limited government and a closer observance of the Constitution. Security … a leader who stands strong against those who threaten the security and stability of our country."
— Jordan Broaddus, Louisville, Ky.
"Our current health care system is corrupt and unjust. New ideas and approaches to the issue are greatly needed and will be even more vital as our recession continues to intensify." — Sarah Fisher, Little Rock, Ark.
"I believe that no matter how cliché and overly argued they may be, the stereotypical controversial issues do matter — such as abortion — because they reflect how the United States is growing as a nation, and we are all part of it. As a military child, I worry over national security and international affairs such as Iraq and Afghanistan. I want a leader who knows what needs to be done and how he can fulfill these goals realistically."
— Devon Fulbright, Columbus, Ga.
"I think it is important that our president is a Christian, first and foremost. He needs to support and care about all American citizens, including the 'least of these,' unborn children. He needs to protect innocent civilians, which means defending against and preventing terrorism. Despite political pressure, he should not tolerate evil. He must actually stand for his beliefs and not just try to please others with his words. … He must believe in allowing a choice of education (public, private, home schooling). … He should be conscious of the environment but not hold false claims of environmental disasters. He must support freedom of religion … and be firm and fair in dealing with immigrants."
— Lindsay Green, Madison, Ala.
"It is important to me that the president goes through with what he says … lower gas prices … lower taxes … and a good health care plan for the elderly."
— Nicola Jefferson, St. Louis, Mo.
I'm concerned about abortion, stem-cell research, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, global affairs, and the restoration of the economy."
— Trey Lewis, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
"Our government should still be concerned about rights and treatment of those who are different (such as homosexuals) and prenatal treatment (which should be fair to the infant but also the mother). Another issue is a person's right to privacy in a world that is becoming more and more connected."
— Samantha Lutz, North Richland Hills, Texas
"Abortion and gay marriage are important to me in this election. I believe abortion is murder no matter what the circumstances. Adoption is a better option. Also, while we should treat gay individuals with Christian love … I believe gay marriage should remain illegal."
— Kayla Minette, Harrison, Ark.
"The condition of the economy and how the government plans to revamp the economy on a world scale…"
— Justin Perkins, Hendersonville, Tenn.
"The economy, taxes, the war in Iraq, national security and international relations with Iran are important to me."
— Keith Pierce, Memphis, Tenn.
"Alternative fuel sources — I think we need to work on limiting use of fossil fuels. Same-sex marriage — I think we need to keep marriage between one male and one female."
— April Souza, Ketchikan, Alaska
"In the upcoming election, I want to know what candidates are going to do about the economic 'crisis.' Our generation will certainly have to deal with the consequences, negative or positive, of our next president. I want to be assured that the next four years will be better than the last four years."
— Nate White, Omaha, Neb