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ELECTION WATCH Does Our Divided Nation Make Kennedy a Divided Campus?

By Adrianna Iorio, Sections Editor

Lately, for most us, it seems as if the United States isn’t united at all. Due to recent events, our nation is seemingly divided by what political party we vote for or what morals we identify with. Acts such as not standing for the Pledge of Allegiance or seeing eye-to-eye with our president’s decision-making have proven to make a profound impact on who we are as people. The Clarion recently conducted a questionnaire in relation to this in which we sought to see if Kennedy, on a smaller scale, is as divided.

Chart created by Clarion designers Jenelle Lum and Kimberly Landeck

When surveying approximately 125 students (freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors) it was found that around 59% of students identify with the Democratic Party and its political ideals.

For these students, questions such as “Do you agree with our President’s decision making?” and “Do you think the President is improving or harming our country?” revealed answers that were prominently against him and how he handles issues for our country.

On the contrary, only a small pool of students labeled themselves as Republican: 14% of students identified with right-leaning views. However, a few hiccups in the authenticity of the Republican data emerged; a number of students, particularly freshman, treated the questionnaire as a joke, making it a challenge to determine whether the data was accurate or not. (For example, some would write “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” at the bottom of their paper alongside other statements actually jeering at the president.)

What factors influence political ideology? According to Conlee Graybill (Class of 2020), “I think your political standpoint has everything to do with your parents, and the environment in which someone was raised. Granted, there are a few exceptions, but for a majority of people, the political standpoint that someone takes lines up with that of their parents.”Perhaps there is an emotional attachment to the politics in a family which affects the way new voter or the younger generations will vote. Peers and media attention have also proven to have a profound impact on political attitudes.

Throughout this questionnaire process, it seems as if Republican- and Democrat-leaning students aren’t divided 50/50, and our students lean more left than right. Political opinion overall doesn’t seem to create of a problem within Kennedy according to many students. Kessley O’Keefe (c/o 2020) told the Clarion that she has never personally been attacked for her political views on campus. “Seeing as though I’ve never faced troubles for my political views, nor have I witnessed people have problems, I wouldn’t say Kennedy is divided politically at all. On campus when it comes to politics, I think we’re all pretty chill. Wild.”

Throughout this questionnaire process, it seems as if Republican- and Democrat-leaning students aren’t divided 50/50, and our students lean more left than right. Political opinion overall doesn’t seem to create of a problem within Kennedy according to many students. Kessley O’Keefe (c/o 2020) told the Clarion that she has never personally been attacked for her political views on campus. “Seeing as though I’ve never faced troubles for my political views, nor have I witnessed people have problems, I wouldn’t say Kennedy is divided politically at all. On campus when it comes to politics, I think we’re all pretty chill. Wild.”

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