When I was a senior in high school and searching for my ideal college, I was looking for an active college, especially a politically active campus. My high school was very conservative and I envisioned myself at a slightly more left-leaning campus, engaged in political debates that dragged on into the wee hours of the morning.Instead, I ended up at UR. The Princeton Review generously describes UR as “politically moderate, not politically active.” I wouldn’t even call UR moderate – apathetic, indifferent or uninterested is much more correct. The Democratic primary season has been interesting to watch – whether you are a Democrat or Republican – yet I’ve never heard election coverage on TVs as I walk through residence hall hallways.Maybe our focus is a little off. For example, on Feb. 12, before I heard about such an important event as the Iraqi suicide bombing or General Wesley Clark’s decision to endorse Senator John Kerry for the presidency, I was informed by at least half the campus that Barbie and Ken had broken up.How can we make time to be aware of the world outside of the campus? Some students turn to Internet news sites such as “The Drudge Report,” which prides itself on almost instant news. The problem comes when this news is released too soon, lacking important information.UR’s political groups should have a bigger influence on the campus community and student body. It seems students just don’t have the time to add a campus political partisan group to their schedules – UR students are involved, just not in the campus representation of American political parties.All things considered, where college students are assumed to be intelligent, politically and economically aware people, UR students turn up short. We may be intelligent, but lack the desire to become more aware of the world around us. Students don’t seem to care that the country has problems and they have the power to help solve them. I even know of political science students that couldn’t name more than one Democratic primary candidate.That fact alone angers me. As college students, we are supposed to be the hope for America’s future. College is supposed to be preparing us for the “real world,” but instead is locking us in an airtight bubble for four years.I’m asking that we try to change that selfish view and educate ourselves of matters beyond the UR borders, which can happen in any multitude of ways – attending campus political party meetings, following media coverage or discussing politics with peers or friends and making up our own minds.Borchardt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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