The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

2024 presidential election

What do Tarleton State students think?

With the U.S. 2024 primary kicking off this year, a lot of citizens are thinking about not only politics but the future. Among these individuals are the students and staff at Tarleton State University.

Overall, Tarleton State University is full of students and staff with diverse political ideologies. Whether they believe that their vote in the upcoming primary makes a tangible difference, or whether they believe Trump, Nikki Hayley, Biden, or a younger alternative candidate with newer ideas should be in office, they all have one thing in common: the only way they can make a difference, both in the state primary or on the federal level, is if they go forth and vote.

Out of six students that were interviewed, three had conservative, or right-wing values, two were Democrats, and one was nonpartisan. However, some would say that this election is not actually about political parties or candidates at all.

“I think it has to do with an ideology; we’re seeing two different forms of ideologies that are in this country specifically. On one hand, you have this one side that is just all about canceling people. And it has to do with just being very free-spirited, and on the other hand this has to do with the working class people,” an anonymous junior Tarleton State student said. “And I think that we are starting to see this clash of opinions that is to the point where everyone is so partisan; there’s not a lot of people that want to get in the middle.”

Story continues below advertisement

“With politics, it’s the lesser of two evils that you have to pick. That’s just how it is, that’s the unfortunate truth,” junior Tarleton State student, Weston Davis, said.

It is important to note that while only one out of six Tarleton State students held nonpartisan views, more people from the right or left may be looking for alternative candidates.

“I really hate all of them, to be honest. The only one I’d vote for is Nikki, but I know she’s not going to win because she’s got such a low poll right now,” junior Tarleton State student, Brenna Franklin, said.

Nate Olivio, a freshman accounting major here at Tarleton State University repeats this sentiment: “Everyone in this election is horrible. Like there’s one person that I would consider voting for, but they’re not going to make it to the primary.”

While faculty members were not quick to vocalize their votes, they did have some insight into this almost defeated mentality seen in young voters hoping for less polarized candidates.

“Calling the nomination after one Republican primary in New Hampshire and caucus in Iowa places a chilling effect on voters in upcoming primary/caucus states, possibly contributing to a self-fulfilling prophecy–if voters think the nominations are basically guaranteed, why vote?,” Dr. Marcie Reynolds, a political science professor said.

Tarleton State student Brenna Franklin often finds herself asking the same question. 

“Does the vote of a white college girl in the South really change the face of the world?” Franklin said.

Well, Alyssa Kohler, a student here at Tarleton State University, does believe that her vote holds this kind of power.

“I do think voting is important, especially among young people. If you’re in your friend group and you have an influence and you tell people, ‘I’m not going to vote because my voice doesn’t matter,’ and then your friend group doesn’t vote, and then their friends… you know? I think it’s important to advocate for that,” Kohler said.

With that being said, some Tarleton State University students have a plan as to which candidates they will be voting for.

“Trump, if he gets elected, would be a pretty dang good option. The future of America is going to be young, right-wing individuals,” Davis said. “But Trump, that’s who we need right now.”

Clarissa Vilagrin, a freshman here at Tarleton State University, would disagree.

“I think I’m going to vote for Nikki Hayley. I haven’t really heard her backstory, but she has way better ideas than Trump,” Vilagrin said. 

Austin Lewter, a journalism and broadcasting professor at Tarleton State University, shares his own opinions regarding Nikki Hayley’s campaign in the Republican primary.

“I think it’s too early for Nikki Hayley to bow out, but unfortunately, in the world that we live in, if the media tells us something’s done, it’s usually done,” Lewter said.

Too often, U.S. citizens let the media or outside factors influence who they might vote for, or even if they’ll cast their vote at all.

“Apathy is antithetical to a democratic republic. The legitimacy of our government depends on citizens participating in primary and general elections,” political science professor Marcie Reynolds said.

She might be pleased to know that at Tarleton State University, students who are actively advocating for the candidates that they would like to see in office, and planning to vote at least at the federal, if not primary level, remain. 

These students, along with many others around the country, are refusing to let the future of this country slip through their fingers.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Brooklyn McKinney
Brooklyn McKinney, Staff Writer

Comments (0)

All the JTAC Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *