Why College Students Should Vote In Every Election They Can

College Students, If You Want Political Change, Get Out Of Your Bed And Go To The Polls

We are constantly fighting against and questioning the government powers which shape our everyday lives, but fail to take advantage of one of our most basic and cherished rights once we turn 18.

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The final day to submit your application to vote was October 16th, in my home state of New Jersey. One question which has a complex, though seemingly simple answer, is why most college students elect not to vote. On one hand, to a college student filling out and submitting the paperwork can appear both troublesome and tasking, especially since the deadlines typically come about during college midterms week.

Most 18 to 22 year old's likely feel that to take time out of their busy schedule in order to apply to vote in an election where a single vote typically does not matter (especially in the case of midterm elections, which seem even more inconsequential), is simply not worth it. Furthermore, to spend November 6th at a polling location rather than studying or out with friends also has its drawbacks and little appeal, not garnering much support or attention from anyone.

SEE ALSO: Find your local polling location here

With this in mind, the question seems easy to answer. College students don't vote because they are too busy (more like too lazy to fit it in), or because they feel their voice doesn't matter. But what this fails to take into account is why, if students feel their votes don't matter, are college campuses some of the most politically active places in the United States, and even more why are college students some of the most politically active individuals. College students want their voices to be heard when they march through downtown with signs or hold rallies on their libraries steps, but can't quite understand that getting out to vote is a simple continuation of these rights.

Voting shouldn't feel like a chore. In a populace constantly advocating and fighting for total equality its necessary for every eligible citizen to get to the polls and voice their beliefs if we want change to occur.

In the case of Rutgers, laziness when it comes to registering to vote isn't an excuse, it's a choice. Over the past few weeks, various clubs and non-profits have presented multiple opportunities to register, many times they were even willing to mail in the ballot for you. In my case, they've reached out in multiple classes and identified multiple opportunities to take advantage, many of my teachers also offering to take part.

Taking this into account, how is the most politically active segment of the general population, that has been provided multiple opportunities to register the least likely group to get to the polls on November 6th? We are constantly fighting against and questioning the government powers which shape our everyday lives, but fail to take advantage of one of our most basic and cherished rights once we turn 18.

Maybe, though very unlikely, this year will be different. Social media petitioning and campus drives will finally have had an impact on voter turnouts and lead to a more active populace, whose voice might actually be heard. In a midterm election, this dream is unlikely, even more so considering the love from college students gained by Bernie Sanders in 2016, with him still falling short of the ballot. But whether you're going home, voting on campus, or mailing your ballot in, let your voice be heard. Get to the polls and vote.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Meet Pete: South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg Is The Democratic Party's Newest Star

The Mayor of South Bend, Indiana was once an unknown political figure that no one thought had a shot at the nomination.

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Pete Buttigieg (pronounced "boot edge-edge"), was once a relatively unknown figure in the national Democratic Party. When he announced his candidacy for president back in January, people had already written him off as someone who had no chance to even make a challenge for the Democratic Nomination. Now, Buttigieg has become the Democratic Party's new star.

(I mean, come on, the first thing that comes up when you search "Pete" on Google is his name, that has the mean something, right?)

Buttigieg is the first openly gay Democrat candidate for president, a Navy veteran, and was born and raised in South Bend. He comes from the middle of the country, which Democrats are looking to win so that they can take back the White House in 2020. The 34-year-old has been laying out his policies and ideas pretty clearly over the past two months. He has been on "The View" twice and even received positive feedback from the conservative Meghan McCain.

Buttigieg represents the Millennial generation. He graduated high school in 2000 and would be the youngest president ever if elected. Democrats are looking towards an outsider to defeat Trump, just like when a sizable group of Democratic voters supported Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Buttigieg has made it clear he won't back down from Trump, but he has also taken an even-keel approach to the way he campaigns. When he is speaking, he doesn't raise his voice or talk with his hands. He speaks calmly, as if to say, "if you like what I'm saying, great, and if you don't then that's alright." His policy ideas are leftist and progressive, but the way he presents them is less radical than, say, that of Bernie Sanders.

Pete Buttigieg will definitely be a name to watch next year. Will he rise to the top, or will his popularity fizzle out? We shall see. The first Democratic debates are in June — I know you're so excited to see election coverage yet again!

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