Election Day, on November 8, is now less than a week away.
The two main candidates for president have both had their share of missteps and scandals – most notably the famous e-mail scandal Hillary Clinton was involved in, and in general, Donald Trump’s lewd comments and controversial political views.
Most recently, a video in which Trump describes sexually assaulting women surfaced, which has caused even more of Trump’s supporters to pull their endorsements – two of whom would be Senator John McCain and former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Any of these topics are hard to talk about, let alone speak to a group of young voters about whilst trying to remain appropriate and politically correct.
With this in mind, I wondered how the teachers here at Harrison were talking to their classes about the situations at hand.
“This definitely seems to be an election where a lot of students are taking notice for the first time,” said Harrison History and Psychology teacher Ryan Baird.
“Some of my students are actually able to vote, so they're trying to be informed voters and actually follow the debates. I have seen more people emotionally involved in this election than any other election that I can remember in my lifetime.”
Despite this, Baird has not yet incorporated the election into his lessons, beyond mentioning major headlines throughout the campaign season.
Both candidates have struggled with maintaining appearances, especially during debates. Each person has such differing views, and emotions run high during these debates.
Like the candidates, both conservative republicans and democrats have incredibly different views that each side is passionate about.
When discussing personal beliefs with students, Baird said that it can be difficult to maintain civility when philosophies clash.
“The hardest part is learning how to be civil when discussing those beliefs and learning that it is okay to disagree with other people,” Baird said.
“Too often it seems that people think that there is a right or wrong way for everything, but it isn't always that simple. I have never seen someone have their opinion changed by a person who was yelling at them over their beliefs. If you are actually trying to make a point that you want someone to listen to, you have to be civil. That has been lacking from the two candidates and has seemed to carry over to society as a whole.”
Students these days seem to be more invested in this election, perhaps because they are realizing that no matter the outcome, it will greatly affect all of us.
United States Government teacher Tony Martin has been tracking the election and has viewed all three debates with his students.
“The League of Women Voters visited our classes and helped students register to vote,” Martin said. “Some of our students have also volunteered to work the polls on Election Day.”
Young students are ultimately going to heavily impact the outcome of this election, as Harrison Senior Karen Amaizo said.
“Right now it’s going to affect our age group especially since this election and the next election (will) be the first for some of us,” Amaizo said.
“This election could also change how college is for most of my generation because college tuition could go up.”
No matter what your political alignment, it’s extremely important for you to get out there and vote to make the results an accurate reflection of how Americans feel.
If you still need to register, it is not too late. Simply go to https://vote.gov/ and finish the registration process.
Early voting is still in effect until November 5 at any of the Payless locations in Tippecanoe County, from Noon to 7 p.m.