Continue political involvement

Dear Editor,

The day of the debate was the most exciting day I’ve had at Wash. U., and it looked like many students agreed with me. I heard friends throughout the day say, “I wish it was debate day every day!” and “This is even better than W.I.L.D.!”

As someone who has been involved in politics throughout my college career, it was refreshing to see so much passion and energy from the entire student body. I was shocked to see so many students awake before the sun came up to attend “The Early Show” filming in Holmes Lounge. Wash. U. students proved that they care deeply about supporting a whole range of issues, be it a particular candidate/party, the environment, women’s rights, the democratic process or bringing comedy into the seriousness that is politics.

The day after the debate, I walked around campus, and I felt a little sad. The debate brought so much excitement, and then it was all over, and things were back to normal, business as usual. I want to believe that the political energy brought by the debate will not disappear with the camera crews. I hope that people will keep showing their support for their causes and engaging in constructive political dialogue.

Watching the debate in the DUC (or any of the other viewing sites), it made little difference that the debate was taking place five minutes away instead of 500 miles away. But watching it as a large group, surrounded by other students engaged in the political process, made it much more exciting than sitting through an hour and a half of political talk would otherwise be.

There’s no reason why we shouldn’t continue to have debate-watching parties in the DUC for the next two presidential debates and later for the State of the Union and other important political moments.

So many of you wore buttons and held signs supporting your choice ticket, but that’s not what’s going to determine who becomes the next president of the United States. To affect that outcome, you need to do more. You need to register voters. You need to make phone calls and knock on doors for the candidate(s) you believe in. You need to write letters to the editors of local newspapers expressing your opinions. You need to attend political events and speakers more than one day a year. And, of course, you need to vote.

What made the debate so exciting for me was not taking a picture with Chris Matthews or glimpsing at Biden in his motorcade or being interviewed by the media (although certainly, that was all exciting), but rather seeing the Wash. U. student body so politically charged. Disappointed as I was to not make it into the debate hall, a far greater disappointment would be to see that enthusiasm fizzle out without translating into action.

Sophie Cohen
Class of 2009

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