Cameron Prine and Elizabeth Oestreicher
Apathy is defined as a “lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference.” Politics is defined as the “art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.”
Our generation has been cited for being apathetic towards the participatory processes that ensure our voices are heard in this democracy. While this is a characteristic most often associated with Millennials, there is also a growing number of this generation clamoring for social change. With increased media consumption and access to information unprecedented in previous generations, Millennials are the most connected generation the world has ever seen. With this increased connectivity, there comes an increased awareness of the inequalities of the world. While some have risen to the occasion and become more socially/politically involved due to their increased awareness, others have remained apathetic even if they are angry with the inequality. Perhaps this is due the ever-increasing fast pace of the world in which millennials live, there seems to be less time to “go out and make a difference.”
Is it because we, as a generation, have seen more corruption exposed and thus no longer believe a single voice can be heard? It has been widely documented that the Millennial generation has the lowest voter turnout of any age related demographic, and as a whole country, we rank 120th out of 169 countries that have democratic elections.
Students at Lorain County Community College expressed the view that Americans believe we are entitled to a lot of rights and protections under the government, but we do not exercise our right to vote, and therefore we do not use our voices to affect government policy.
One way we can combat political apathy amongst our generation is to make sure that we are educated about issues happening in our city, state and county.
“Students our age value tech over education. Other countries care more about education, and we do not view it as a privilege,” Lena Odetallah, a sonography major, said.
Some foreign student also expressed the view that we Americans see voting as a right, and they view it as a privilege.
“Your vote counts. If you don’t vote, how can you expect change? Especially you guys in the younger generation, if you want change you have to partake and want to be active. As a foreigner, I look at voting as a privilege, you American’s don’t. You do not see the opportunity,” Rosey Slabaugh, a Jamaican born nursing major, said.