Furman Taylor, a freshman political science major from New Orleans, filled me in on why voting and participating in various political events should be important for students, especially with the upcoming 2016 presidential election.
“I want to have a say on what goes on in my country,” he said, adding that every registered voter should vote, as long as he or she has a valid opinion to bring to the table. “Even if it’s a little voice, it’s a voice.”
Qualities Taylor said he is looking for in each candidate in the upcoming election include: good leadership ability, respect and a lack of belligerency and over aggressiveness.
“A candidate should be able to lead a country from a financial standpoint and from a foreign policy one,” Taylor said.
Taylor Hopper, a sophomore computer science major from Wetumpka, also offered his input. Hopper said he does not receive information about the candidates through word of mouth.
“You have to look things up and see what they stand for,” Hopper said.
Hopper said that though his opinion is just a number, it can make a difference.
“Voting is important because it is one of the many chances that citizens have to express themselves politically but also engage in the political process,” said Richard Ledet, an assistant professor of political science.
After speaking with Ledet, it was clear that one goal for his class is to motivate students to become informed before they place their ballot in the box.
“I try to give my students a sense of efficacy that they can change things,” Ledet said. “They can actually have their voices heard.”
Ledet works with the Political Science Club, a group that provides a source of learning and fellowship for students majoring or minoring in political science and any other interested students.
He said his involvement with the club is beneficial for students because he equips students for their experiences with voting and the political process in general, and by “making sure people are informed when they vote.”
Another avenue for students who are interested in politics and helping the Troy community is the Student Government Association.
Taylor, after meeting several people in the association, said he believes that the SGA is moving toward the right direction when it comes to listening to students’ opinions.
“The Student Government Association here at Troy works hard to constantly improve our school,” he said. “The Student Government Association does their job fairly well with everyone else’s opinions and what they think should happen.”