Texas Woman’s University is recognized for its participation in civic engagement and promotion of voting, and it has become a national concern as to the decrease in college student participation in voting.
According to a research survey from the Knight Foundation, confidence in the validity of election systems is negative amongst younger populations. 59 percent of the youth surveyed are skeptical of elections, and distrust the institutions which represent them.
Nancy Paniagua, a freshman psychology major, is a promoter of voting in younger populations.
“I would say to those discouraged to vote that despite such a mindset of voting insecurity is not disputable completely, by not voting, others in a smaller population have agendas that will be done despite public opinion,” Paniagua said. “Having power in numerous groups voting can alter the circumstances of politics.”
Despite universities’ gradual promotion of civic engagement and voting registration, why are students continually a minority amongst the voting population?
“As voting clubs and attempts in universities promote voting, the lack of turnout is most likely a contributor to the belief that representation will not be gained by public voting,” Paniagua said.“There is a mindset that needs to be overturned.”
Indigo Rector, a freshman psychology major, is prominent in endorsing voting amongst the student population.
“To someone our age who does not believe in the relevance of voting, I would say if your vote doesn’t matter, then no vote does,” Rector said. “Ancestors before us have fought for this privilege for opinion to be introduced into society.”
College universities, including TWU are advocating towards civic engagement and promotion of registration to vote. TWU endeavors at promoting students to participate in each election, such as Pioneers Vote, Walk to the Polls, Pioneer Service Scholars and Make a Sign, Stake a Sign.
As of 2020, TWU had a voting rate of 66.9 percent, which was an increase by almost 15 percent the past year according to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) Report.
“Having a platform for people to educate and inform themselves will allow decisions to be made quicker and easier,” Paniagua said. “Accessibility, a non-partisan platform such as TWU civic engagement clubs enable citizens to have clarity in confusion. I am still recognizing myself with politics, however TWU has encouraged me to vote and offers accessibility to register.”
According to Bestcolleges.com, college students are anxious about jobs, abortion rights, finances, growing costs, and climate change. Yet, despite action being taken, there is an overgrowth of suspicion amongst students, decreasing the voter turnout amongst these populations. As well as data from Forbes and Vox, students are growing skeptical as to whether elections have integrity. The question as to the significance of voting is being examined by young populations, leaving the institution of representation indifferent to the opinions of its constituents.
“If I was elected, I would try to accomplish much,” Rector said “I would pivot towards abortions rights, allowing the younger generation to have opinions heard and similarities between the Texas government and point of view between Texas citizens.”.
TWU has been recognized as a voter-friendly campus. TWU offers the Jolt Initiative, which is a club promoting diversity and voter registration amongst students, as well as the Student Government Association, which is several branches of government throughout the student body that is representative throughout the college.
“At TWU, I felt encouraged to vote,” Rector said. “Every online class of mine reminds students to register, as well as tables that offer small rewards such as stickers to those who register or vote. I feel very supported and represented by my campus.”
According to the U.S Census, registration rates have increased by 69.1 percent in the 2020 elections, higher than most countries. As aforementioned issues are subject to growing concern amongst citizens, college students’ opinion is of considerable substance for representative and legislative decision.
“I don’t feel represented in my local sector,” Rector said. “I wish there was more diversity in the Texas government. Right now, there is a majority of one political party, rather than a balance between Democrats and Republicans.”
Annalise Soto Serrano can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org