Sunday, December 5, 2010

Point Park Students stick with their political party

Published in: The Globe 
Originally published: September 21, 2010 
By Kalea Hall
Andrew Witchey said his family background is why he has been a Republican since he was able to understand politics.
Kati Radman, a Democrat, sides differently because of her less conservative views.
These Point Park students are just a couple that are sticking, not switching, with their traditional affiliations, unlike other college students around the nation.
During the 2008 elections, young voters had a major hand in swaying the elections toward the Democratic candidate, according to Pew Research Center. However, by the end of 2009 many young voters changed their political stance.
In 2008, 62 percent of young voters were affiliated with the Democratic Party and in 2009 the amount of affiliates shrunk to 54 percent, according to Pew Research Center.
Witchey, a senior cinema and digital arts major, said he follows the Republican mindset since he comes from a family where his father and sister both own their own businesses.
"It's just the kind of mindset that you work hard to make your living and it's your living to keep," Witchey said, as to the main reason that he is a Republican.

Radman, a sophomore psychology major, said after watching the 2008 debate, she knew she was a Democrat and has never changed her political stance.
 "I just agree with a lot more policies that they [Democrats] have over the Republicans, who are a little more conservative than I am," said Radman.
Pete Janusz, a senior civil engineering major, said that since he is not the "typical student," his views lead more toward the Republican side.
"I work full-time and pay for everything. Normally the Republican side, in my opinion, offers the best for a citizen in my situation," Janusz said.
He also said that he agrees with the Republican's moral platform since he was raised that way.
On the other hand, Cory Stoken, a sophomore cinema and digital arts major, agrees with the liberal viewpoints that make up the Democratic platform.
"I'm just not very conservative in my viewpoints," said Stoken, who has stayed  with the Democratic Party for two years.
Political science professor, Nathan Firestone, said in a phone interview that he has not seen a change in his student's political opinions lately, nor has he seen them upset over what is currently going on at the White House.
"My students, if they are upset, I don't see it in class." Firestone said. "I don't get a sense that there's a tremendous amount of interest like there was when [President Obama] Obama was elected."
With issues like healthcare, jobs and the failing economy, the government has tough decisions to make.
Mindi Killmeyer, a junior political science major and student Democrat. said that she is not happy with the current president.
"I just don't agree with the healthcare reform," Killmeyer said.
Stoken, a student Democrat said he does not agree with everything that happens in the White House, but he does not simply blame that on President Obama.
"No matter what happens, you can be a hardcore Democrat or a hardcore Republican, and there's still going to be things that you don't agree with," Stoken said.
The disagreements that some students may have with current politicians can possibly sway future elections when it comes to who they vote for, some Point Park students feel.
In 2008, 66 percent of young voters voted for Barack Obama compared to the 31% who voted for John McCain, according to Pew Research Center. Radman believes that because of 2008's election results, young voters can impact future elections.
"I definitely think young voters are a big part of who becomes president, especially in the last election. So if their opinions are changing then there's a good chance who they vote for will change," Radman said.
Stoken also felt that young voters will affect future election results, since they seemed to in 2008's election.
"I think that it will definitely affect it, if college students are starting to change their beliefs to more Republican traditional beliefs," Stoken said.
Witchey said if that the college student "demographic can stay interested in politics, they will definitely have an impact" on future political processes, and believes people should look more at the "in-depth" issues of politics.
"Just because you don't feel Obama is doing the job you want him to do, that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to switch political parties," Witchey said. "You should look at the ideals of the party instead of what the current leader is doing and identify that way." 

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