By REBEKAH DEBELL
The Presidential race is down to Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson and Donald Trump. One of these candidates will inevitably take office in January after the election in November. But first we are bombarded with television ads, news articles and, of course, the debates. However, these debates are not just between the presidential candidates, they are right here on the UMW campus as well.
With the election fast approaching and the two major candidates being very controversial, debates and talk of the election have been very common throughout campus. Whether it be professors mentioning it in class or hearing debates walking down campus walk, the election is having an effect on just about everyone’s life.
Sophomore environmental science major Maddie Reid said, “because each candidate is controversial, people have developed strong personal opinions of each of them and seem to be more vocal about it.”
Reid has had several debates with friends about the upcoming election and who she believes is the best candidate for the job. But with this election she has debated her opinion with people of the same party as well. Reid has also felt positive effects from this election. Reid added that she is “very excited to cast her first ballot and get the cool ‘I voted’ sticker’”.
Sophomore Ripken Smith says he gets into disagreements and that he has heard several other arguments while walking around campus.
Smith described these debates as, one person calmly talking about their opinion and the other person rudely disagreeing with them.
He added that, “It seems that people care more about my opinion for this election than they have in the past elections.” Despite this Ripken is excited that he can vote in his first presidential election even though he is not happy with the candidates on the ballot.
Another aspect that makes this election different from other elections is the prominent presence of the third party candidate, Gary Johnson. Many college students who were Bernie Sanders supports now have the Bernie or Bust mentality, and do not want to vote for Clinton or Trump.
Hannah Backe, a sophomore anthropology and international affairs double major, said that her anthropology professor brought up the two party system in class. The professor also had the class dissect the two party system to see what the underlying issues were. Backe also stated that she too is “excited to vote but [she] wishes there were better choices to choose from.”
In general, this election seems to be much more controversial than elections in the past. And although every election stirs up some disagreements and controversies this one seems to have taken it to the next level.
This election has not only been causing disagreements from opposing parties, but from within the same parties as well. All of this has been seen and heard on campus. From seeing candidates’ names written on pillars down campus walk or being asked if you are registered to vote, the election has definitely brought several impacts to the UMW campus.