Teens’ Involvement In Politics

by Mustafa Ali, Alan Dang, Raven Harper, Joelle Tancredi



With the 2016-2017 election still being discussed by news stations and citizens alike, politics and the issues surrounding it have never been more popular. The policies, bills, and results that our president will make will mostly affect the young and upcoming adults of this generation. Today, my group and I decided to interview some students here at Rutgers to ask about their involvement in politics and how they get their news.

I stopped Peter Kim, a student here at Rutgers and asked him whether or not he was politically informed in his day to day life.

“I do consider myself politically active because I like to talk about different situations with my friends, kinda get their take on things,” He said.

Talking about these issues and forming opinions and possible resolutions can help us all be informed and educated, so we can make the right choice when needed. When asked how involved Peter was in the recent presidential election, he said he was pretty involved.

“Yeah I went out and voted for Hillary this year, I also encouraged my friends to do so too.”

Being involved and active in politics, especially with this election, can shape and decide future policies and rulings such as healthcare and tuition, topics that are important to Peter and his friends.

“Students like me, we need to be informed and constantly in the loop because if something is going on about tuition for example, it’s important to me because I am paying for college and I need all the help I can get.” says Peter.

Keep up with the news, and stay involved.

Other teens feel like they simply don’t have the knowledge, the resources, or the need to participate in politics.

Rebeca Rojas, 15-year-old, is not politically involved because she doesn’t feel the need to be just yet.

“I don’t really know what’s happening, and I don’t think I really need to be [politically involved],” said Rojas.

According to Rojas, her school brushed on politics during the 2016 election, but she wishes she were more involved in the election.

“We talked about [politics] in school a lot, and they kept us updated,” She says, “in our eighth grade class our teacher, before we started learning about U.S. History, would keep us updated on Trump and how things were going.”

Rojas  would like to become more politically active in the future, when perhaps it would be more important for her to keep up with key issues and policies.

Farah Mahmud, 23-year-old, was never politically aware as a teen and still doesn’t feel involved in politics.

“I never really had an influence growing up about learning politics,” said Mahmud,  “it was just never interesting.”

Mahmud also wishes she were more involved with the 2016 election.

“I can have personal opinions based on the biases I’m aware of, but I don’t want to take a stand because I don’t know the details of politics,” said Mahmud.

Despite feeling politically unaware, Mahmud said she understand the importance of voting and has voted ever since she was legally able to.

“It’s not good to vote for nobody at all or just a random person,” said Mahmud, “I feel like that’s why we’re in the position we’re in now.”

However, she does take interest in specific issues that affect her and those she associates with.

“My main concern would be representation of all the minority groups,” said Mahmud, “especially when it comes to the more important parts of the government that deal with civic legislation and laws.”

Mahmud works with a nonprofit organization for cancer patients and has seen how health care affects them first hand.

“A lot of patients are not able to have health care anymore, which is really difficult because they need cancer treatment,” said Mahmud,  “they need radiation, and they’re elderly as well, so it’s not like they can really be able to get a job that will provide the health care for them.”

In the world today, President Donald Trump and the Republican Party are making America great again for their supporters. But last February those who did not back Trump cried and protested in droves on the streets, outraged about the outcome of the presidential election. They say Trump supporters randomly nominated their candidate.

As of now, many people doubt President Donald Trump’s leadership. In particular, the fact that Russian hackers meddled with the last election has increased public concern. Trump has responded by putting in place a number of policies to try to gain public confidence. These include plans to stem immigration into the United States and deal with ruthless street gangs.

With the ending of former President Barack Obama’s term, a lot of emotions ran through the upcoming election for the 2017-2021 President.

All eyes were focused on the Democratic and especially the Republican party.

Young adults, and a lot of people in general, who were not as involved in politics before, woke up to what was happening in our country.

During the election, people voiced their opinions on certain political views like immigration and healthcare more than ever. Young people especially came to realize that this election of the new president will heavily affect them going into adulthood.

When people across the world found out Trump was the new face of America, they didn’t take it so well.

With Trump being in office for six months now, many have lost hope and interest in trying to ‘make America great again’.

Ana Tirillo, a Rutgers University senior from Jersey City, New Jersey,  is one of these.

Like many young adults Tirillo became disenchanted with politics after the 2016 election. As for how politically active she is now, Tirillo said, “ not so much any more”.

The contentious tone of the election really affected her.

“I think it’s kinda like a dead end street, and I’m not interested in getting upset anymore,” Tirillo said.

With the Trump Administration settling in, this feeling of apathy is becoming widespread.



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