Congressional candidate Alanna Hartzok started a campaign to encourage college students to register for election day on Nov. 4, advocating that a broader perspective of the world is necessary for change.
“We feel it’s urgent young people step up to the plate,” said Hartzok, democratic candidate for District 9 of Pennsylvania.
As savvy internet users, Hartzok said that younger people have more experience because of all the information they are exposed to, which leads to a broader and more accepting vision of the world. Hartzok hopes that young people are aware of what is going on in the American government and are inspired to create change.
Hartzok wants this new generation to be a part of the election, but many people do not realize that, in order to vote, they have to be registered 30 days before election day. The form can filled out, online, but must be printed and mailed to the local registration office on or before Oct. 6.
The older generation has a tendency to vote in favor of their party affiliation, regardless of the values of the people running in the election, Hartzok said. Whereas, the younger generation sides with their beliefs on particular issues.
There is a sense that the older generation is more grounded to a set of beliefs and stereotypes, junior Ashley Quinter said. By furthering her education, Quinter feels that she has been exposed to more ideas and is able to think in different ways.
Quinter wishes that more people would be open to the idea of voting. Sometimes people think that their vote does not make a difference, Quinter said. But she believes it does.
When she was in college, Hartzok said there was no one telling her to go and vote. Had she been more aware, she would have been more involved.
Unless it is the presidential elections, many Shippensburg University students agreed that they are unaware of who is running in local elections or even that election day is approaching.
However, if the elections were better advertised, senior Mary Butler said she would participate. Although she only voted once before, she said it gave her an ability to control what goes on in the U.S.
“But to me, it felt like I had a place in America’s importance,” Butler said of the time she voted.
One of the concerns that Hartzok sees for college students is the interest rate of college loans. She supports Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Senator, and her push to lower student loans with the College Affordability and Innovation Act.
Jenna Behrens, a senior, said that the tuition and the interest rates of her loans have steadily increased each year of her education. Her freshmen year the interest rate was 3.4 percent. Now, it is 6.8 percent.
“We’re trying to make ourselves better in the long run, but we’re just getting screwed,” Behrens said.
Although Behrens said she is registered to vote, she probably will not. She would consider voting for someone who would lower the interest rates, Behrens said, but she also believes that the promised initiatives would not happen. Politicians tell people what they want to hear, but do not usually follow through, Behrens said.
Part of Hartzok’s campaign focuses on wealth inequality, jobs and an increased minimum wage, environmental preservation, education and funneling taxes from labor wages to natural resources.
“When we formed our political democracy, we did not build an economic democracy to match it,” Hartzok said.
Students can register to vote through Hartzok’s website at www.hartzokforcongress.com