The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

DePaul students voice concerns about 2024 election candidates

Lucia Preziosi
Ava Fischer, a senior political science student and DePaul voter engagement specialist, registers students to vote in the DePaul Center on the Loop Campus Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. Fischer and others registered about 50 students for upcoming elections.

Many DePaul students asked about the upcoming 2024 presidential election are disappointed in the presidential candidates. They want a leader who will address their generation’s concerns, such as LGBTQ+ rights and uniting the country.

 As candidates ramp up for state primaries, many voters are watching their campaigns closely.

DePaul junior Ibrahima Sow said voting is important because it is a way citizens can help shape the country.

 “If we don’t make sure that we set the leaders that we want, then we have no right to complain about the way that they lead,” Sow said.

 President Joe Biden is running for reelection in the primaries and is facing opposition from former President Donald Trump. A former president has not run against a current incumbent in the two major political parties since 1892.

 Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as U.N. ambassador in the Trump administration, is also competing for the Republican nomination. After the Iowa caucus, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis dropped out of the Republican race and endorsed Trump.

 Trump won over 50% of the votes in the Iowa caucus earlier this month, making him the Republican front-runner.

 Wayne Steger, a DePaul political science professor, the determining factor in the outcome of the election will be who is the most motivated to vote. 

The students interviewed by The DePaulia plan on voting in November, but they also said they are unhappy with the candidates. 

 Emme Quinn, DePaul sociology student at DePaul, feels there are no candidates to be excited about. She said she is looking for someone more left-wing than Biden.

 “I’m not thrilled about Biden, but if I have to pick the lesser of three evils at this point, I would do Biden,” Quinn said.

 Matthew Gutowski, a junior majoring in film and television, voted for Biden in 2020 and says he would vote for him again. Gutowski says he is confused how voters support Trump, even after he was convicted.

 “He led an insurrection, right? I don’t understand how you do that and then come back from that,” Gutowski said.

 Students are still learning about Haley and her campaign, but Gutowski thinks she is a better fit to be the Republican candidate. However, he still has doubts.

 “She makes comments about the Civil War being a product of states’ rights, and then it just ruins any credibility that she might have,” Gutowski said.

 Steger said DePaul students will be disappointed with any outcome of the general election.

 “I would say if Biden wins, they’re going to be disappointed in what they get, but if Trump wins, they get exactly what they don’t want,” Steger said. “They don’t get what they want on the environment. They don’t get what they want on immigration, racial justice [or] Palestine.”

According to CIRCLE, a research group at Tufts University, the 2022 midterm election had high voter turnout among young voters ages 18 to 29. 

Molly Andolina, a political science professor at DePaul with a specialty in American government and elections, worries young voters will be discouraged and decide not to vote, even with increasing young voter turnout.

 “My biggest fear is that it will make them not participate in the process, and then just disengage from politics more generally, and that could have generational impacts,” Andolina said.

 Students want a candidate that reflects their values. Andolina said Generation Z is progressive and wants the government to take a stand in addressing significant societal issues of inequality.

Quinn, the DePaul sociology major, said she is concerned about protection for the LGBTQ+ community.

 “There is kind of an attack on queer people right now coming from the right,” Quinn said. “Something that I definitely feel strongly about is combating that.”

 Julian Cortez, a junior at DePaul, wants a candidate who can take responsibility for unifying the country.

 “I am looking for somebody that … is wanting to move our country forward together instead of actively working to bring us apart,” Cortez said.

 Sow believes a candidate who can uphold citizens’ inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will be the best choice for president.

 “It will all go down to who can provide the best support and security for all of the people in the country,” Sow said.

 DePaul students can register to vote on the university’s Lincoln Park Campus and the Loop Campus. Vote DePaul has scheduled several days throughout the academic quarter to help students register to vote.

 DePaul has partnered with TurboVote to help students with the voting process online.

 Illinois residents have 16 days before Election Day to register to vote online. They can register to vote in person and on Election Day.

 If students live on campus, they should register to vote using their campus mailing address.

 Students can find their local polling place on The Chicago Board of Election website. They can also request an absentee ballot if they are registered to vote in the Chicago area. Students registered to vote in a different state can request an absentee ballot from their state election office.

 Illinois will hold a general primary election Tuesday, March 19, and the general election will be Nov. 5.

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