Students Weigh In on Election Issues


With the 2020 presidential election less than a month away, Troubadour Editor Marina Misitano asked several members of the SFU student body their thoughts on some of the issues relative to the race. Election Day is Nov. 3:


Do you think that the mail-in ballot process will work smoothly in next month’s presidential election?


Senior: The question of smoothness in the mail-in ballot process can be a little bit deceiving. As far as Coronavirus mitigation goes, I think that it could be really effective in limiting the number of people that actually go to the polls. By keeping high-risk groups like seniors, and those that have pre-existing conditions, out of public places, it lowers the risk of contracting Coronavirus.


In terms of the actual election however, I feel as though no matter who wins, the other side is going to blame the loss on the fact that there were mail-in ballots and that those may not have been counted properly.


Do you think it was right for President Trump to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to take the place of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a new Supreme Court Justice this close to the election?


Senior: I don’t feel as though it’s right for President Trump to nominate someone for the Supreme Court. The current president’s term is ending next month. There is a possibility that he will not return to the Oval Office come January. It could really be difficult for a new president to enact change if the current Supreme Court, or anyone in the legal system and Congress in general, still supports the agenda of the previous president and doesn’t open themselves up to new ideas and new ways of thinking.


As far as the Senate blocking the hearings, I feel as though it could happen with many senators being opposed to the current president nominating a Supreme Court justice.


The first presidential debate was held on Sept. 29. If you watched it, what did you think of it? Did you learn anything from it that you didn’t already know?


Senior: I did watch the first presidential debate. Personally, I found it shocking – however, not surprising – that the president of the United States could act so immature and with such disregard for important issues pressing the nation. I did not learn anything new. If anything, I was left with more questions.


Sophomore: I didn’t watch the debate, but I did hear about it after, and most people thought it was a joke.


Do you know what fracking is? Do you think fracking should continue in Pennsylvania?


Senior: I do know what fracking is. However, I am not from Pennsylvania. Based on what I do know, I do not think fracking should continue. While I understand the importance of the jobs fracking creates, I do not think the jobs outweigh the fact we do not fully know what fracking does to the environment. With the state our environment is in, and the fact that we only have a limited amount of time to act, I do not think fracking is a good idea.


Sophomore: Yes, I know what fracking is. From my findings, fracking in Pennsylvania is occurring excessively and producing way too much gas and oil than demanded, which is resulting in a lot of waste. I think that fracking should be cut down, but not necessarily stopped entirely, as it is good for Pennsylvania’s economy. But for the environment, fracking causes a lot of pollution and it releases harmful chemicals into the air and into the water, which is not only harmful to the environment, but to people, too.


Do you follow politics at all?


Graduate Student: Yes and no. In previous years, I haven’t really been one to follow politics, just because I am not really interested in it. In the past year, with the upcoming election, I have found myself becoming more engaged in politics and learning about how important it really is for people to understand what is happening.


What is the most urgent economic issue facing the United States today?


Graduate Student: I believe one of the most important economic issues facing not only the United States, but the entire world, is climate change. Now more than ever, people are starting to become aware of the harmful effects of greenhouse gas emissions on our environment.


This is a topic I am passionate about due to my undergraduate degree in Biology. I spent four years learning about what we need to do to protect the world we live in today, just to see it all being destroyed by the decisions we are making as human beings. I find this issue to be important because if we don’t change the way we live our lives, the world we live in today will cease to exist. The sooner we are able to admit that we are wrong and that we need to help the environment, the sooner we will be able to turn the planet around and create a healthier and happier environment for everyone.


Do you think climate change is a serious issue that people should be concerned about?


Sophomore: Climate change is a serious issue that needs immediate attention. The thing that is most concerning is that businesses and governments are not being the forerunners of the change that the world needs. Not one country or multinational corporation is pioneering the fight against climate change. This issue seems to be on the back-burner.


Will the Coronavirus factor into your decision on who you vote for next month?


Graduate Student: The Coronavirus will factor into my decision because it is a part of the healthcare system as a whole. The candidate with the better plan for improving the quality of healthcare opportunities will secure my vote.


Will inequality in the United States factor into your decision on who you vote for next month?


Graduate Student: Since both candidates are tackling inequality, no, it will not be a factor.  My vote will be for the candidate that is providing a greater push for equity and equality.