University students express political needs
By Savanah Dickinson | LSU Reveille - 9/24/2014
University students have common issues and policies they want their politicians to change, and some student political leaders are vocalizing what they want from politicians this election cycle.
Millennials are the largest generation in the United States, according to Generation We. Millennials can influence politics, but often choose not to use this power.
Destin Sensky, agricultural business senior and president of College Republicans, said there are 21 million millennials living with their parents, up from 18 million only five years ago, so 36 percent of millennials are living under their parents’ roofs.
“Part of it can probably be attributed to the high price of education,” Sensky said.
Student loan debt is at an all-time high, and Sensky said there is more student loan debt than credit card debt in the U.S.
“I think it’s really important that the older generations that are passing this legislation know that they might be helping us to get through college and stuff,” Sensky said. “But eventually we’re going to be the ones paying for it, so they’re not really doing us any favors.”
Leslie LaCoste, political science senior and co-chair of the College Democrats’ executive committee, said politicians’ decisions in Louisiana have affected the University and University students’ educations should be important to our politicians.
“All of the cuts in funding that has recently happened to LSU have of course affected it,” LaCoste said. “The political science department alone has had a lot less teachers than it used to have and it has not been able to offer as many courses as it used to because of that lack of funding.”
Garrett Clawson, political science junior and president of Common Sense Action, said legislators must collaborate to form a mechanism to keep University students in Louisiana instead of seeking jobs elsewhere.
He said the University has a problem with outmigration, when students take advantage of TOPS and leave the state.
“I think that the governor as well as the legislature should try to simonize job growth. Bring businesses into the state to revive those job opportunities so people have a reason to stay here when they graduate,” Clawson said.
Clawson described three ways to make changes in politics, the first being money. Millennials, however, do not have the disposable income to invest in campaigns.
Another way is networking and connections, but college students typically don’t have those either.
However, numbers can make changes in politics, and millennials have those numbers.
“We don’t have money, we don’t have connections, but we have numbers,” Clawson said. “That’s how we expect to see the change made.”