IU students see future in upcoming election


The young vote is very important this election season and students on the IU campus are not shy about sharing their opinions about what is important on Election Day.

Indiana University is known the world over for its research, its storied basketball program and the Little 500 bicycle race. But at its core, like many schools of higher education, intellectual pursuit is the main objective and students have been studying the candidates.

"I'm socially very Democratic. Fiscally, I could go either way, but they kind of just haven't convinced me that either have the right plans," said Jordan Shwide from New York.

"I don't think that people actually know what points are made between each candidate," Riddhi Patel, a student from Greenfield.

On a campus of 45,000, students are eagerly debating social and political issues this election year, including negative campaigning.

"The fact that a lot of presidential candidates tend to migrate to the issue of why the other opponent is worse, rather than why they are better. Because we only want to hear why they are worthy of the position, rather than why the other person isn't," said Ashley Martinez from Las Vegas.

"No one is really offering details on how their plans, if they can give details of their plans - which obviously, that is a big problem - and how that is actually going to affect people and create jobs," said Houston native Colin Frazier.

You don't have to look any further than the School of Public and Environmental Affairs to find students who have definitive opinions about the state of our nation.

"For me, fiscal conservatism is taking the problems that we as a nation face and trying the best way to find the solutions and I don't think Romney's plan does that," said Danny Bloom from Chicago.

Professor Les Lenkowsky says the energy of four years ago is not evident in 2012.

"I think they're apathetic, partly because they're worried about jobs, partly because, you know, they get a lot of their nightly news from the comedians from ("The Daily Show"). They hear the same kind of cynicism," Lenkowsky said.

It's no surprise that the cost of education is a huge concern. With rising tuition and more students taking out loans, some say they hope they can pay them back with good-paying jobs in the future.

"I'm a law student and a Masters student and the legal market is terrible. People are losing jobs a lot, there aren't many new jobs. So it's hard for me to be going out, in two years, as a graduated law student, to get a job when there's no jobs," said Nicole Noelliste from Jamaica.

"I want to be able to find a well-paying job at a place where I know I can stay and I'm not going to have to be constantly having to worry if I'm going to be laid off, or something like that," said Christina Dohr from St. Louis.

Resident enjoys Bloomington "feel"

Carol Williams and her family have lived in Bloomington since 1979 after moving from Tuscon, Arizona. Her husband teaches economics at Indiana University.

"It is easy to live in Bloomington. Fifteen minutes to get anywhere in town. All this road construction not withstanding, it's easy to get around town. It has some of the advantages of a much larger town but with a small town feel," she said.

Williams volunteers for Meals on Wheels once a month.

"They need a lot of volunteers, but no volunteer needs to do so very, very much," she said. "Here it's incredible the number of people that volunteer. It seems like of my friends, people tend to have their most important volunteer effort, but I bet most people I know volunteer in three or four different organizations."

Williams said she and her husband thought they might return to Arizona after a few years in Bloomington, but they never looked back.

"We have never left. It's great. We love it."