Why Are Students So Involved in the 2016 Election?

For the 2016 election, the presidential candidates are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and Dimond High School has seen a sharp increase in interest in politics.

In classes and the halls, one can overhear discussions revolving around the two candidates, their policies or their out-there personalities.

It has become so prevalent that even the teachers have noticed.

“I think there is an increased interest, although I don’t know if it’s more than just an interest for entertainment,” Dimond’s U.S. History teacher, Kent Isakson, said.

“I don’t think anybody is being swayed one way or the other. I think most students have their minds made up and they aren’t really looking for the truth of what’s not being said or being said from either candidate.”

This holds true under loose scrutiny: Some of the conversation around the election is about things like Donald Trump’s hair and Hillary Clinton’s outfit.

Fortunately, this isn’t true for all students. There is a real interest in politics at Dimond, and there are some students that are taking this election very seriously.

Mischell Anderson, a World History teacher, attested to this.

“I mostly overhear people talking. Also, sometimes in classroom discussions when political situations or issues come up, people are a little more argumentative with each other. It’s a little more contentious, more judgemental about the viewpoints of other people.”

This election has been one that has brought out the extremes from all types of people. Even celebrities, who usually keep to their own interests, have taken to social media urging people to vote for one party or the other.

This could be something that causes more interest amongst the Dimond population.

Andrew Hampton, a senior, said, “There’s never been so much coverage of the election, and most of it has taken place in the view of students via Twitter and other social media sites, so I definitely think there’s been an increase in interest around Dimond.

“I’m dual enrolled at Alaska Pacific University and Dimond, so I definitely see more interest because the people I’m around are able to vote,” Hampton concluded.

But this still leaves the question: Why are students interested?

“The two people running for office have strong personalities, and people have very strong opinions about that, in ways that I don’t think we’ve seen in past elections,” Anderson said.

Isakson said, “It’s become kind of a media circus. You’ve got two candidates that because they are not the best qualified candidates have become an entertainment thing.”

Junior Claire Miller has her own perspective.

“This is our first election in high school, so I think that’s a big part of it. Now that we’re becoming more socially aware of politics, we’re figuring out what side we’re on, or if we’re on any side, or if we even want to vote.”

Another viewpoint comes from Hampton.

“The candidates are extremely controversial, so it makes it somewhat interesting to follow,” he said.

It is quite obvious that Dimond has become more politically savvy during the past few months, although the reason for that differs depending on who you ask.

But the truth is undeniable: Dimond students care about politics on some level.