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The Greyhound

Student Political Action Groups Prepare Students for the Midterm Election


The midterm elections are coming up this Tuesday, Nov. 8, and campus political organizations have been working to encourage Loyola students to vote. 

Jake Taylor ’25 is the president of the Loyola University Maryland College Republicans, and he says that it is vital for college students to be politically engaged. He cited America’s history of political activism amongst college students in particular with examples such as protests against war in Vietnam and Iraq and the conservative movement ushering in the Reagan presidency.

“This is the time that we would expect folks from our generation to be picking up their megaphones and their poster boards and hitting the streets,” Taylor said. Playing a vital role in political movements in the past, there has not been as much participation from students on Loyola’s campus leading up to this election.

Madelyn Chelak ’23, the co-president of the Loyola University Maryland College Democrats, said, “We’ve definitely seen more involvement during presidential election years and that’s what’s hard, I would say, about a year like this one with a Democrat in office. It may sometime draw less of a crowd, which is a challenge.” Matthew Gheduzzi ’23, the other co-president of the Loyola University Maryland College Democrats, agrees.

 “When it’s not a presidential election year and not everyone is, I guess, freaking out or stressing as much, people don’t feel the need to talk about it with like-minded people as much, so we see a bit of a downtick in attendance, but I don’t think that it’s reflective of interest.” 

On the other end of the political spectrum, Taylor has also observed a similar phenomenon. The College Republicans are struggling to get students registered and get in their absentee ballots.

 “That’s difficult, as college students have a lot of work during the month of October and there are deadlines,” Taylor said. “Most states’ registration deadlines have already passed, and most states’ absentee deadlines are Nov. 1, so I would identify that as one of the greatest challenges.”

Although political action groups on campus are facing struggles with engagement and registering students at Loyola, there is data that supports the idea that members of Generation Z across the United States will be coming out to vote in the midterm elections. In a poll from the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School, data shows that 40% of Americans between the ages of 18 to 29 will be voting on Nov. 8. It is projected that the voter turnout of the younger demographic will either match or exceed the record-breaking turnout of the 2018 midterm election.

Both groups, despite the challenges of registration ahead of the midterms, are educating their members and providing resources to make sure that everyone is prepared for Nov. 8. 

Chelak said, “We go over current events in the beginning of every meeting, but I don’t think we direct our club members to anyone. I think we make sure everyone is educated and on top of them. If anything, we try to encourage engagement in local politics.”

 Taylor said, “Among our members, there are such a wide array of beliefs. Our mission statement says that we seek to approach the political perspective from the center right…The economy is what’s motivating Republican voters right now.”

Regardless of political beliefs, both groups agree that the most important thing for college students to do is to vote in the midterm elections. Gheduzzi believes the voice of young people is important in politics since only the younger generation can advocate for themselves.

 “Letting people that have more money than us and more political clout or power than us decide this stuff sucks, and we don’t want that,” Gheduzzi said. Taylor emphasizes the importance of voting in the 38 states that elect their state governments during the midterm elections.

“Most of the social issues that are important to us, abortion, gun rights, all of those things and everything in between, even state income taxes, they’re decided at the state level, Taylor said. “So 100%, I couldn’t emphasize it anymore: vote, vote, vote every opportunity that you have.” 

Featured Image Courtesy of Emma Straus

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Student Political Action Groups Prepare Students for the Midterm Election