The last presidential debate has finally come and gone — now, it’s time to vote.
This event — the second and final debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden — completely upended our whole semester as students.
Our curricula changed, our classes went online for two days, campus itself got fenced off and taken over — and the university dedicated a bevy of resources to hosting a historical event.
And if the cheering crowds of freshmen watching the debate live at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and the students who lined the streets around campus were any indication, students care about the issues. They care about the direction this nation is headed.
Let’s not make this debate a waste. Let’s make our voices heard.
College student voting doubled in the 2018 midterm elections, according to a report by Forbes, but even then, it floated around 40%. In 2016, the presidential election didn’t draw many more, with around 50% of students voting.
While these numbers might seem low, they do follow positive trends, and it’s up to the current generation of students — us — to keep that trend going.
The decisions made by this country’s leaders affect college students. They affect you. And at a time when the very nature of criminal justice is coming into question, the world is in the throes of a global pandemic and the issue of political alignment is more divisive than ever, it is each person’s responsibility to enact change where they can.
And one of the easiest ways to do that is to vote.
Inform yourself where you can. Follow the news closely, challenge your own perspectives — and vote.