The 2016 Election: Affecting ASU Sun Devils
A look at the 2016 election from a college student to Baby Boomer and GenX
I'm a woman, I'm a journalist, and I'm a Millennial and above all else I'm a college student. If those three things offended you, then you should probably read this article!
I am a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, and so I was able to see the election up close. On Election Day, I was live reporting the news for Arizona State University's student radio station, "The Blaze Radio, 1330 AM.”
I live reported from 4PM until 1:30 AM. I will always remember being in the studio, live when we announced the results of the 2016 Presidential election. I was a part of history, and now I am going to explain some of it to you.
The day after the election, walking on campus I felt a negativity that I had never felt before on the grounds of ASU. Students were crying, hugging one another and obviously mourning. It was melancholy, it was palpable.
However this feeling was unique, shared across college campuses, but not echoed by the nation. Looking back, the realization that what my fellow students were going through, started when I was fortunate enough to speak on a panel, about the election, on 12 news. I was joined by three other women, all of them at least 15 years older than myself. Their views shocked me.
After the election, I've seen more than every confusion from generations above me. We seem to be at a crossroads, not all, but a majority of America's generations have opposing views and opinions about the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election.
To the generations above me, as a college student, I can respectfully explain the disconnect between your views and my generation. I think the reason why my generation was so jarred by the results of this election can be explained by these three reasons:
Monica Sampson, ASU junior working on double major in broadcast journalism and theater and a pre-law minor
One of the main and most prominent attributes for the disconnect between the Millennial generation and those above it is that of social media. We as Millennial's often friend, talk to, and like, content of those in our same age group. We also share ideas and conversations mainly with people that have similar ideas. Our generational obsession and culture of social media, makes it so that we only see social media as our world. Other than one's family or, professors and coaches most Millennials don't have a frequent amount of conversation with baby boomers or Generation X. I'm not saying that social media is a problem in fact I think social media is wonderful! However social media and the blinders that come with it, may be one of the reasons why our generation was so shocked by the 2016 election results.
My solution: Have a conversation with someone outside of your age or idea group.
Be open, and listen!
A larger disconnect I have noticed is between the political education that my generation received and that of the previous generations. Most government and political science classes in high school and college are electives. This means unless those are subject you already focus on, my generation hasn't had the same education has previous ones. We are forced to look for knowledge and election coverage on the sites we know; social media which continues the cycle and problems listed above! The Millennials were thirsty for knowledge and understanding, that's why we took to Bernie Sanders.
For the Baby Boomers and Gen X folks reading this, one might be able to further understand why large protests and responses have come from the Millennials. For us, this is our first time as adults to really see history and governments form. We're passionate because we care and even if you don't agree you need to respect that.
My solution: Let's put an emphasis on government, poli Sci and Econ classes as much as we do English or P.E.! We deserve to be informed.
This leads me to my final argument and breakdown of my generation's reaction. Let's be honest, I was excited for this election! This was my first time voting in the presidential election and I knew its value, and I didn't want to throw it away. One has to realize that for some of the voters in this election this not only was our first time voting, but something we have been preparing for, nearly 18 to 20 years. The Millennial Generation had been looking forward to the 2016 election and looking forward to and painting a picture of the perfect candidate. When that didn't happen, it created a wave of disappointment. My generation are not cry babies, or saps, or overly sensitive. We are aware, aware of the issues and how they affect us and in turn we use the only power we know how, like social media and hashtags, to join the national dialog.
My solution: Use your voice. No matter what side of the election you fell on, I strongly encourage you not to give up. Policies, and bills can be written and changed. We are an amazing nation with the power to change our history and government through public policy and legislature
So, read up on your council members, congressmen and woman and which bills and propositions directly affect you. Get your friends to register to vote the next time around and know, from age 18-118 you live in a country where your views and ideas can become real! Don't throw that away because you can't see eye to eye with every issue.
*Monica Sampson would like to mention that she understands not all people of the same generation have the same political views*