“The presidency is going to affect us. We are the change; we are the future.”
Calvin Lopez’s statement echoes the feeling of Oswego State students who have begun voting for the presidential election, which takes place Nov. 8.
Lopez, an Oswego State senior, is mailing an absentee ballot voting for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“I just like her policies a lot better, like immigration and tax policies,” Lopez said. “I just feel like Donald Trump is ignorant.”
Lopez said it is difficult to know what the outcome of the election will be although it is just days away.
“The way how things have been going lately, it’s scary,” Lopez said. “Government always has a way to trick you.”
Nury Moncada, a senior, said she also voted for Clinton when she mailed on her absentee ballot Nov. 2. Clinton aligns with more of her political views, Moncada said.
“My family are immigrants,” Moncada said. “I’m a first generation American. I’m homosexual. I’m pro-choice.”
Moncada said it is hard to get a feel for who will win the election since the polls have been so close.
“There are a lot of swing states and you just never really know,” Moncada said. “Even in New York State, the demographics for upstate and downstate are totally different. I just hope whoever wins can lead the country in a positive way.”
Students on the other side feel passionately about voting for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump. Clark Grabb is a senior who voted for Trump because of his republican views.
“The republican values are not 100 percent lined up with who I am, but I would say that I have zero affiliation with the Democratic party,” Grabb said. “I like [Trump’s] immigration policy.”
Grabb said he believes Trump’s economic policies will be more fruitful than Clinton’s plans.
“From what I understand, recreating the middle class generally stimulates small business and small businesses are how the economy gets rolling and creates jobs,” Grabb said. “Frankly, as far as the minimum wage, it kind of corrects itself, I feel. I am only an economics major and I am not an economist but I feel like he talks about financial issues which is more in tune with me. For our situation globally, I feel like finance is more important than social issues.”
Not all students are decided about who they will vote for next week. Nick Endras, a senior, said he is planning to research each candidate more thoroughly before he makes his decision.
“I hope to decide either end of this week or beginning of next week, because obviously the election’s coming up very soon,” Endras said.
Endras has ruled out voting for Trump and is leaning toward Clinton or Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate.
“I’m just going to hope that the nation doesn’t go with Trump,” Endras said. “It will impact the nation really bad, I think. He’s not a politician; he’s a business man. He has no right to be in office. The things he’s said about immigrants and Mexicans and women especially, it’s sickening.”
Graduate student Reid Adler is voting for Green Party candidate Jill Stein because he said he disagrees with the two mainstream candidates.
“I think I align most with Jill Stein and her policies, especially on education,” Adler said. “I think Hillary Clinton is a crook and Donald Trump is just a movie star TV host and I don’t believe in him being in office. Neither does the rest of the GOP.”
Adler said the two-party system is flawed, which is why he is voting for a candidate that coincides more with his views rather than those of the major parties.
“I think that is the thing that gets us stuck in this two-party system,” Adler said. “I am not going to decide between the two candidates. I am highly against the two-party system.”
Vote Oswego had an all-day event Nov. 2 to help students finish filling out their absentee ballots and mail them in. The table in the Marano Campus Center provided free stamps, refreshments and a photo booth for students not registered to vote in in the city of Oswego.
Andre Nichols, an Oswego State sophomore, is a staff member of Vote Oswego and said the campaign focuses on the importance of student participation in the political process.
“Vote Oswego is a non-partisan campaign,” Nichols said. “We’re excited to get students registered to vote. We don’t really care who you vote for; we just want you to get out there.”
According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, 45 percent of young people ages 18 to 29 voted in the 2012 presidential election. This number was down from 51 percent in 2008.
Polls focused on this age group in the 2016 election have found that Clinton is more popular than Trump, though neither nominee is viewed positively. A TIME article published in July 2016 explained that 75 percent of millennials view Trump unfavorably, while 63 percent of millennial voters view Clinton unfavorably.
The poll the TIME article referenced was conducted in 11 swing states during June and July. The poll found that in a four-way election with Trump, Clinton, Johnson and Stein, Clinton won with 43 percent. Trump received 24 percent of the votes in this poll, followed by Johnson with 15 percent and 7 percent for Stein.
While Nichols mailed in his own absentee ballot Nov. 2, he said he appreciates the diversity of political views at Oswego State.
“We want those at the top to hear what we have to say because we are such a large, diverse group of people,” Nichols said.
Additional reporting by JoAnn DeLauter.