The winding line of students that patiently waited in a rain storm to visit the C-SPAN Road to the White House Presidential Bus Tour may reveal the growing interest among Ohio Northern University’s student body in this year’s presidential campaign.
For the second time in history, the White House Presidential Bus Tour stopped on campus to give students, faculty, staff, and community citizens valuable resources to become active in governmental and political affairs. C-SPAN officials found a receptive audience.
“This is definitely a year to get interested in politics,” said ONU College Democrats President Lydia Heinlen, a senior political science major.
She added that while some college students may feel disenfranchised by the current political system, this year’s presidential campaign brought new voters that have been disengaged in politics.
“In the past, college students have been a little bit standoffish about elections and not so interested. This is definitely a different scene [this year] and I see more students getting involved with politics,” Heinlen remarked.
Improving voting percentages for college students is a goal of Department of History, Politics, and Justice, according to Department Chair Robert Alexander. Voter registration drives, issue debates, and debate watch parties were held on campus leading up to the Nov. 8th election, in hopes
of ONU being designated a Voter Friendly Campus by the National Campus Vote Project.
“The department has taken a lead, along with other campus partners, to get students registered to vote and to encourage awareness across the campus community. Leadership matters and who wins the presidency will absolutely affect the lives of citizens in Ohio, the country, and throughout the world,” Alexander said in September.
The C-SPAN Road to the White House Presidential Bus provided valuable
insight through its interactive educational displays. Students also had the opportunity to ask questions to C-SPAN staff members, had the opportunity to be interviewed on camera, learn more about the cable network, and earn free gifts.
White House Presidential Bus also visited campus in 2012, and ONU was one of only three Ohio universities on this year’s tour (along with Otterbein University and Wright State University).