Why students MUST vote in this upcoming election

Micheal Gennaro  

Editor in Chief

Some version of this article has probably been written every time an election is approaching.

Clichés aside, this upcoming election is a real chance for students to get their voices heard about some of the most pressing issues that college students face.

The student loan debt crisis is a national disaster that threatens an entire generation’s ability to thrive.

The most recent figure puts the total student loan debt in the United States at a staggering $1.48 trillion.

Sixty-five percent of college graduates leave school with some amount of debt owed.

The class of 2018 owed an average of $29,200, according to studentloanplanner.com. The average monthly payment for these indebted students is $393 a month.

The debt crisis creates a devastating domino effect on those that are ensnared in it.

Students who have outstanding debt have harder times owning homes, starting families and living happier lives.

This domino effect doesn’t just affect students, either.

Lower birthrates can lead to worker shortages in the future, and fewer people at a middle-class level can lead to devastating economic consequences; if there are fewer people that can afford to spend their money, the economy suffers.

Student debt has made it demonstrably harder for millennial students to reach that middle-class level or above.

On Jan. 11, CNN posted a story to their website that pointed out that the millennial generation is going to be the first generation in American history that is worse off than their parents’ generation.

The reasons for this are varied. Student debt, as covered above, is swallowing millennials whole.

Housing prices have soared.

Wages have been stagnant and have not kept up with inflation.

These are all issues that could be fixed if more young people took the time to vote in presidential elections.

Bernie Sanders, one of the favorites for the Democratic nomination, has passionately campaigned on the idea of curbing military spending and using the savings to cancel all student debt and make all public colleges in the US free.

Sanders is also proposing wholesale changes to the healthcare system, such as Medicare for all, a single-payer, affordable national health care option for everybody.

If Sanders isn’t your cup of tea, Elizabeth Warren also has interesting ideas on cutting student debt. Her proposed bill would greatly reduce the balance of all students with student loan debt.

Seventy-five percent of borrowers would have all their loans forgiven.

Best of all, her plan is paperwork free. The cancellations would be carried out automatically by the Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Education.

Both Warren and Sanders have also proposed a $15 minimum wage for all workers, a huge bump from the current rate of $7.25 per hour.

Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang and Joe Biden might also appeal to issues you think are important and need to be addressed.

Minimum wage, debt, healthcare; are all massive issues facing many college graduates and college students right now.

Every few months, the various news outlets run pieces about these issues and how they threaten our past and our future. Nothing is going to change unless more young people vote.

Even though an estimated 24 million youths voted in the 2016 election, young voters still don’t vote as much as older generations.

Florida is a vital swing state in a close election, a butterfly effect battleground state that can change the fate of the country.

There should be no excuse for any person able to vote to sit at home come November.


i voted

“I Voted” sticker/Photo courtesy of USAToday.com