Ball State community talks about influence of politics

The Daily News

Students gather in DeHority Complex to watch one of the presidential debates of the last election on Oct. 16. One month after the election, students are wondering how much of an influence their votes had. DN FILE PHOTO JONATHAN MIKSANEK
Students gather in DeHority Complex to watch one of the presidential debates of the last election on Oct. 16. One month after the election, students are wondering how much of an influence their votes had. DN FILE PHOTO JONATHAN MIKSANEK

A month after elections, some students feel like the air has been let out of the political balloon.

“Whatever is the trending topic, people are going to get involved with that,” Riley Byrnes, a sophomore art major, said. “It just happened that last month, it was politics. People develop these incredibly complex ideas about topics that they really care little and know even less about.”

Joseph Losco, the political science department chairperson, said it is important to remember that politics is not an easy, one-and-done activity.

“We [Americans] need to get used to our political process as a continual engagement, not something we can pick up and put down at some point,” he said. “Democracy is pretty hard on its citizens, when it is done right.”

Scott Faylor, a sophomore social studies education major, said he believes while voting is important, there is a common conception that politicians will say anything to be elected without following up on those promises.

“I feel politics has changed a lot,” he said. “You are more voting for a name rather than the policies behind that name.”

Some students, such as Andrew Foley, are still concerned with politics, even after the announcement of the elections.

“I didn’t want to just vote,” the freshman criminal justice major said. “We need to know if [President Barack] Obama follows through with what he said he would do. And [we need to] stay alert and involved.”

Kayleigh Mohler, College Republicans chairman, said while the campaign side of politics is finished, her organization is trying to keep students active with several different activities, such as visiting the State House and focusing on political issues instead of campaigning.

Drew Farrington, University Democrats president, presented ways students can stay involved with politics even after the lull following a major election.

“The first thing I would encourage students to do is read the news,” he said. “Remember that public opinion or public pressure really does matter. If they don’t listen, we can vote [politicians] out of office, some in two years.”

Mitch Isaacs, student life associate director, created a survey to gain feedback concerning students’ views on Ball State’s election presence as well as ways to move forward in the future.

“We are hoping to be sure we are allocating our resources in the correct places for the future,” he said.

Byrnes said while interest has faded in politics, at the very least in the next four years, the political flame will reignite.

“It’s like the tide,” he said. “It has gone out now, but it will come back just in time for the next major election.”

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