For junior Julissa Villar, the presidential election is a topic individuals should be mindful of.
“[The election has] helped me become more aware of everything because it’s an active conversation on campus, and it’s something that you need to know about,” Villar says. “And if you’re not aware, you’re ignorant, and that’s not something you want to be.”
The 2016 presidential election between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton presents Seattle Pacific students with the opportunity to vote, and, for some, marks the first election that they are eligible to vote in.
At SPU, posters can be found in residence halls and campus buildings that promote voting.
SPU’s Political Union hosted viewing events in Demaray 150 for students to gather and watch the debates. The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, too, hosted an event — theirs for students to register to vote, and they provided Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for individuals who registered at the event or showed that they are registered.
Villar plans to vote and believes that Hillary Clinton will win the election.
“I like to think that I’m very knowledgeable about what’s going on because it matters to me and because it’s important to me,” Villar says. “I watched the debates and I read articles about each candidate’s viewpoints and everything because I want to make an informed decision.”
Senior Eppey Cook has been keeping up with the election since all the candidates announced their candidacies. She’s read articles, watched newscasts and watched the three presidential debates.
While Cook is unsure of who the winner of the election will be and would be okay with either of the candidates winning, she finds that both candidates have negative sides to them.
“I don’t like Hillary Clinton,” Cook says. “I think if she wins, her presidency will be kind of a disaster, and I’m actually looking forward to it. If Trump wins, I’d be looking forward to the Republican party exploring its own base, and also, to see if someone like him could really govern the country.”
For Cook, the scandals of both candidates are not surprising and have caused her stance on both Trump and Clinton to be strengthened.
“It’s reinforced what I already know about Hillary Clinton — that she is untrustworthy and that she lies constantly,” Cook says. “None of her scandals are a surprise ever because she herself is a scandal. And I was not surprised by Trump’s scandals. I knew that he probably was some type of a womanizer.”
Cook says, rather than changing her political views, college has allowed her to gain more insight by hearing what students think about Clinton and Trump.
“I feel that my generation has some distrust of these candidates that is essential to how we’re going to vote as millennials,” Cook says.
Senior Diana Cabrera values her first opportunity to vote for president.
“I’m grateful that I am documented, which I know to many people may not mean a lot, but as an immigrant that’s very, very important,” Cabrera says. “I feel very blessed to participate in this election, especially when immigration has been an important factor that has been coming up in the debates.”
Cabrera hopes that Clinton will win and feels that she has the support of many women and immigrants.
“I know that the Hispanic community is very, very big in the United States and Mr. Trump hasn’t showed any concern or any compassion for people that come from similar backgrounds as me,” Cabrera says. “And I just don’t think he can understand the common people … He doesn’t understand the lifestyle and needs that they face.”
First-year Isiah-Keith Madeja feels disappointed in the election, but through college he has become more interested. Although he didn’t watch the debates, he has formed views on the candidates.
Similar to Madeja, first year Marquis Sablo is also saddened by the election and doesn’t fully support either candidate. While Sablo is unsure of who he will be voting for, he believes that Clinton will win the election.
“[I’m] pretty disappointed in everything,” Sablo said. “I have no favorites, and I just wish there were better candidates. I watched the debates, and it’s just boring and kind of sad honestly. It’s not like real politics, it’s just like dog fighting.”
As a big advocate of equal rights for everyone, Sablo says he can’t see himself voting for either candidate.
“I don’t trust [Clinton] very much and … Trump on the other hand isn’t someone that I could see myself voting for either,” Sablo said. “[Trump] can’t be a leader of our country at all, [and] Hillary has the potential to be a better president, but I feel that being better than horrible, can still be horrible.”