Welcome to the real world,
Getting out the student vote
I read President Randel’s February/04
piece, “Being human
is having an opinion—and acting on it,” with particular
interest as the University magazine arrived along with my AARP magazine.
It occurs to me that there is one very good reason why politicians
of both parties promise never to cut Medicare and Social Security
but rarely promise the same for higher education: old people vote
at more than twice the rate of college-age citizens. According to
the U.S. Census Bureau, in the November 2000 election only 32.3%
of 18- to 24-year-olds voted, while 69.9% of 65- to 74-year-olds
voted. Forty-five percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are registered,
76.2% of 65- to 74-year- olds.
To further the “mission of the University,”
indeed, the mission of all universities, the University of Chicago,
and President Randel in particular, should urge all eligible students
to register and to vote, and should urge other college presidents
to do the same. It is not whom they vote for that matters so much
as that they vote, that they vote while they are students, and vote
in large numbers. Only then will the interests of education receive
the prominence they deserve in political decisions.
Janice Moulton, AM’68, PhD’71
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