» Kathleen Dehring

It is the fall semester and my fellow students, I know that we are busy trying to acclimate to new classes and adjust to different time schedules. However, I want to take a moment to mention that at the time of my writing this, it is 63 days until the presidential election [54 at press time].

I will not make a plea for Democrats or Republicans. That is a matter of choice that, as an American, you have a right to decide and cast as you see fit. What I want is for everyone to use the skills APSU is trying to impart on you. I want you to use your critical thinking skills.

I am a nontraditional student and I have voted since the 1980s.

I can tell you this election is crucial in charting the future of our nation.

Right now, in the comfort of these walls at APSU you may get lulled into thinking your vote doesn’t matter or that you, my fellow students, are too young for politics.

That is incorrect. It is your right to look at the issues and the candidates and make those informed decisions.

At this moment, you represent the generation who will be receiving the reins of power from my peers.

Young women, I implore you to look at the issues and proposed legislations and know that if you do not vote or make your voice heard, you are stating in effect, “Do whatever you like with my body and my future.”

Likewise, young men should ask themselves, “What could possibly be more important than exercising the right to cast your ballot?” it is a privilege that was purchased with the blood of patriots.

I would like all of you, in the next month, to talk about issues, debate them and, above all, register and vote. I believe in all of you and trust me, of all the rituals of adulthood, this one has the most to gain for you. Ignoring it ensures you will have even more to lose.