(This blog post was updated on 11/9/2016)
The votes are in and the madness is over- finally. During election season, we millennials walked around with what felt like targets on our backs. Candidates up and down the ticket tried to be “relate” to our generation, as we were the youngest demographic of voters. For many, like me, it was also our first time voting in a presidential election. It is now safe to say that our opinion, and our vote, mattered.
My older co-workers here at the Alumni Association kept asking me, in the weeks leading up to the election, about the political pulse/climate on campus. I did my best to answer objectively, but felt that I could only discuss the issues that mattered most to me. So instead, I set out on campus to find out what other millennials were thinking?
Here’s what some of your fellow Wolverines had to say about the issues in the weeks leading up to the election of Donald Trump.
Sydney Ohl: Junior, LSA/Psychology
There’s more to this election than “Saturday Night Live” sketches and October surprises. I truly hope that the next president brings us the change and stability that America needs. Also, I care a lot about health care policies and student debt, especially since I plan to go to medical school, which is expensive, and work in the medical field.
Katyanna Salcido: Senior, LSA/Linguistics
Putting the next Supreme Court justice on the bench is my biggest concern. It affects reproductive rights, birth control, and women’s issues. “Repeal the 19th Amendment” (which grants women’s voting rights) was trending last week, and that thought is really frightening.
Rachael Bittick: Sophomore, LSA/Creative Writing
I am concerned about the state of racial conflict and gender inequalities. Both are a constant struggle for all social classes. I am worried that gender equality may take a huge lead in the coming presidency, while the issue of race may slowly fade away. On campus, a lot of the major debates and topics have been about classism and racism.
Andrea Kelly: Senior, School of Kinesiology
I didn’t realize the intensity of the refugee crisis until this election. I also didn’t realize how much negativity there is toward refugees. I think it’s really important that people get educated about the issues before they make any decisions, particularly in regards to the refugee crisis where a lot of factors are at play.
Michael Wentzel: Freshman, LSA/Undecided
Personally, I care about the economic plans the government would implement when I enter the workforce because I most likely won’t be part of the 1 percent. And there’s always the issue that gridlock in Congress will occur again, for a repeat of what happened during President Obama’s terms. That would be frustrating for everyone.
Madeline Dickens: Senior, School of Education
I don’t expect any candidate to be flawless, because candidates are human and humans aren’t perfect. We need a president who listens to all viewpoints and accepts that other opinions are valid, even if they don’t agree. Call me crazy, but I think basic leadership skills are important for the president to have.
Garrett Schaub: Freshman, College of Engineering
I think it’s crazy that many in our generation don’t want to vote. I hear lots of my friends complaining about how they think both candidates suck. But this is our future, and we need to vote not just for the president, but on all other parts of the ballot. Each generation has different interests, and voting is how we can shape our future. It’s our civic duty.
Anna Haritos is a junior studying modern Greek, and biopsychology cognition and neuroscience at U-M.