Students discuss civic participation in 'Big Questions' Event
Voter participation highlights civil discussion on upcoming election.
By J.D. Moore
Posted October 3, 2012
Posted October 3, 2012
Students discussed the upcoming election and issues surrounding during the first event in the "Big Questions" forum series.
Moderated by political science professor Jim Riddlesperger, the event was a practice in civil discussion, Pearce Edwards, a senior political science and history double major, said. Edwards, the president of the Honors Cabinet, said the "Big Questions" series is a collaboration between the John V. Roach Honors College and Student Development Services, and is designed to engage students in discussion about important topics.
The first event focused on the importance of young and first-time voters. A large number of students who attended the forum will be voting in a presidential election for the first time.
One of those first-time voters is junior political science major Cory Applewhite. He has been eligible to vote since 2005, but this will be the first presidential election he will have the opportunity to participate in.
Applewhite was prevented from voting in the 2008 election because of the circumstances of his military service. A former U.S. Marine, Applewhite was deployed to a remote part of Iraq during the election and was unable to vote.
"We had a lot of people with high political advocacy," he said. "A lot of people were upset about that."
Applewhite said he felt conflicted about returning to the United States under a leader he had no involvement in electing.
"We didn't get to elect a leader who is our commander-in-chief," he said. "The ultimate military official is the president, and we weren't able to voice our opinion of whose ideas we stood for."
Now out of the military, Applewhite said he feels his military service will come to a complete close as he gets to participate in the democratic process he said he helped fight for.
"I'll feel a bit more proud about this vote," Applewhite said.
Another installment of the "Big Questions" series will take place in mid-November, with the next topic yet to be announced.
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