Staff Report, Chattanooga, Tenn. – For this election year, there are obviously many concerns with both of the presidential candidates. From Clinton’s email scandal to Trump’s sexual harassment allegations, there are a variety of issues to worry about. However, when we asked students what they were concerned about in regards to this election, we got a variety of different answers.
Several students were concerned about racial issues and discrimination in the United States and how the next President would handle these issues.
Harmony Paulus, a senior from Kingsport, Tenn., said, “Just social issues, things that are, I think, racially based. I think it’s clear discrimination is still an issue, even though it’s 2016.”
Monica Irizarry, a freshman from New York, was concerned about equality in the United States. She said, “I would have to say either dealing with women or women’s rights, or immigration issues. They deal with people more and if America was founded on equality for all then it’s hard to not bring in important issues about people.”
Caroline Walderon, a sophomore from Maryville, Tenn. was also concerned about equality for women today.
She said, “There’s just so many things going into this election, specifically with women’s rights.”
Other students felt that the media has played a heavily influential role into how the candidates are portrayed.
Jonathan Wallmarker, a sophomore from Malmö, Sweden, said, “The media, and the way that it has shaped this election, I don’t really know if there are that many important issues that either one of the candidates are talking about, but, it’s all bickering. It’s actually shaped the entire election, and everyone’s opinions on each other.”
Many other students are concerned about more complex issues, such as the appointment of the Supreme Court Justices, immigration, and foreign policy.
Brandon Cross, a freshman from Chattanooga, said, “I would say probably the most important issue of the election is actually having to do with the Supreme Court Justice appointments, because [they] are going to be on there for a while, and we’re looking at up to two or that’s going to be appointed, so it’s going to be a lasting legacy left by whoever’s elected.”
Morgan Johnson, a sophomore from Knoxville, said, “I think it’s probably immigration in this one, I think that with all things that have been said and all the things that are coming up, it’s definitely the most prominent question about what’s going to happen.”
Brandon Galbreath, a freshman from Bon Aqua, Tenn. said foreign policy, especially with regards to Russia and ISIS, is the most important issue this election. “I would say a lot of foreign policy, just because that’s one thing we’re struggling with,” Brandon explained. “I hope we can defend ourselves more against ISIS and then be able to negotiate with Russia well.”
In addition to more complex issues, many other students are extremely concerned with the candidates themselves and how they’re going to represent our country. Some students felt that the election this year is motivated by fear; many people don’t like either candidate but aren’t really sure what to do in regards to electing the next leader of the country. For some, it’s a choice between the lesser of two evils.
Reed Collum, a sophomore from Franklin, Tenn. said, “I think the most important issues are the candidates,” Collum said. “Just because I think we’re stuck in a rock and a hard place with both of them, they both have their flaws.”
Felipe Argueta, a sophomore from Clarksville, Tenn. said his biggest concern is with how the winner of the election is going to represent all citizens of the country. “I just don’t want the whole world to see America as whoever is going be in office.”
Nicole Avans, a senior from Chattanooga, said, “I guess fear, because I feel like a lot of people are voting out of fear this year, and I sort of wonder why that has to be the case. And I guess what sort of government we want moving forward. Some people want a government by someone who’s never worked [there] before.”