February 1, 2016
by Marissa Denman
Monday evening in rural Rindge, New Hampshire ten Franklin Pierce University students were asked five questions regarding their political awareness and thoughts on the upcoming election. Out of the ten students, five were females and five were males, with class standings of three freshman, two sophomores, and four seniors.
When asked how aware they were of political issues, nine students felt they were somewhat aware, and just one student said they were somewhat unaware. When asked if they planned on voting in the upcoming election, again nine students said they were definitely voting, with just one student saying they were not. The students’ seemed very sure of their political standing, with three students confirming they were independent, four students claiming republican, and three declaring as democrats. When confronted with these findings, Senior Kristina Trovato said she found it surprising that slightly more of the students’ interviewed were republican, as she felt it was more common for Franklin Pierce students to side independent or democratic.
After being asked to list the political issues these students found most important when voting in the election this year, there were many students who had the same responses. The largest concern was with the war on terrorism as well as military and veteran support with four students listing both of those. More findings were that the state of the economy, immigration, and gun control were a common concern for students with three students listing each of these as their determining factors. Other issues listed less consistently were healthcare, violence/riots, education, gay marriage, foreign affairs, and environmental concerns.
When asked which candidate the students’ were most interested in supporting there were less consistencies. Three students said they were voting for Donald Trump, two students said they were supporting Hilary Clinton, one student confirmed they were voting for Bernie Sanders and the largest finding was four students that felt as though none of the candidates were strong enough to warrant their vote. Freshman Kaitlin Morin said at this time she was not a fan of any of the current candidates.
One of the students who said they were unsure, Senior Caitlin Condon, added, “As an independent I see positives in both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. There is a lot that needs to be done in this country and both candidates focus on different things that I agree with but regarding what things should be dealt with first, I am unsure.”
The students who supported Trump seemed very sure in their support for him, with Senior Rich Patrizio stating, “I support almost all of his ideas and feel he has good leadership qualities.” Trovato also stated that she was supporting Trump because, “his immigration policy, he isn’t tied to anyone, and he brings some fire to the election and makes his own rules.”
Senior Morgan Baker said he is firmly supporting Bernie Sanders because he feels, “he most represents my views and is someone I can see bringing this nation into the next decade,” which seems to be a common view among Sanders supporters.
Freshman Amonie Craddock and Sophomore Asante Sandiford both said they were supporting Hilary Clinton because of her political experience and because they agreed with her views. However, when asked if they were voting, only one responded yes.
Although support for the candidates among Franklin Pierce students is divided, it was encouraging to know that most students considered themselves aware of current political issues, and did intend to participate in voting and support whoever they felt to be the best for the country.