Your Political Awareness

How You Can Make a Difference in Your Life and Your World

Are you Registered to Vote? Register Today to Voice Your Opinions About Your Society

Do you enjoying voicing your opinions? Do you have an argument that you wish the world would hear? Then have the incentive of making your viewpoints known across the nation by becoming a registered voter in your state. It is quite simple, taking only a few moments of your day. In the state of Texas, you may visit for more information on the process, such as acquiring the voter registration form. You then must send it to your county voter registrar as there are many cases where you must be registered in that particular county to vote in that county. There are many instances where voting recruiters are present on your campus, encouraging the students to register to vote in their county, as well as providing opportunities to vote on campus. Such opportunities are the campus setting aside days for early voting. Registering to vote is the first step to becoming more politically aware and increasing your political participation.

Join Various Political Organizations on Campus!

In numerous college campuses across the nation, are various political organizations where like-minded students can join together in sharing their views, voicing their opinions, and spread their knowledge on current political issues. Many of these political groups are student-led, creating opportunities to create friendships and network with those that share the same goals, as well as working together to spread their message. Many campuses offer groups such as the Young College Republicans and Young College Democrats. These groups aim to spread political awareness and increase the political socialization of students that exhibit political ignorance. So, if you identify yourself as a member of a party or agree with their platform, you may want to consider becoming a part of such groups. There are also numerous groups that constitute the beliefs of different parties. These include Global Zero which aims to spread awareness of nuclear programs and weapons, and Just Peace which is an ideal group to join for those students that are passionate about the spread of peace and desiring a world of anti-war beliefs.

Learn More About the Gubernatorial Candidates...

Which Candidate's Ideologies Correlate the Most to That of Your Own?

Frequently Asked Questions and Common Voting Misconceptions

Q: ''Why would MY vote matter? I'm only one person.''

A: While, it may feel very true that in a population of millions of voters, it may very easily seem that one single vote cannot make a difference in the outcome of an election. The main goal of your political participation is not voting merely for the purpose of deciding the outcome of an election, but to voice your individual, personal views pertaining to the subject matter. The main reason why students should be exercising their right to vote is to take a stand on issues that matter to them, allowing their voices to be heard by legislators, and acquiring that feeling of accomplishment that they have expressed their concern over the issues. After all, it is true that every vote is important and every vote counts in determining the end result of an election.

Q: ''None of the candidates share my personal, political ideologies''

A: It is crucial that students be made aware of the fact that in midterm and national elections, they not only vote for the specific gubernatorial or presidential candidates, but also for a variety of other issues, such as banning or allowing fracking in their county, regulations on purchasing liquor, restrictions regarding firearms, and voting for individuals for other numerous governmental positions. Though they may not agree with everything the candidate has to offer, it is wise to make the best decision on choosing a candidate that most closely resembles the views of the voter.

It has been determined by the Campus Vote Project that '''well over a quarter of college students reported in 2010 that they did not register to vote because they did not know where or how to register or they missed the deadline.'' This fact means that we have a duty to inform them of the importance of registering to vote.

In many cases, ''apathy isn't the issue with getting college students to the polls. In 2010, less than 13 percent of college students said the reason they didn't vote was because they were not interested.'' This means that we ought to do everything in our power to convince these sort of students to realize just how critical their political involvement happens to be, as well as they should show interest in the one thing that ultimately affects their living situation.

Where do your Ideologies Lie on the Political Spectrum?

Do you think that you might be ideologically conservative, liberal, or moderate? By learning more about exactly what constitutes these ideologies, it will help you to discover where your beliefs lie. Generally speaking, conservatives typically associate themselves with the Republican platform, while liberals tend to identify with the Democratic platform. Moderates usually fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, with views that are usually a combination of conservative and liberal ideologies.

Conservative Viewpoints:

1. Generally favor low taxes and reductions in spending

2. Advocate a strong national defense program

3. Disapprove of excessive federal legislative intervention regarding social and civil rights programs.

4. Support one's constitutional right to bear arms.

5. Tend to support appropriate punishments for criminals and law enforcement

6. Usually support the sanctity of life and considered pro-life.

Liberal Viewpoints:

1. Generally call for the raising of taxes for corporations, upper-income Americans, and believe that doing so would stimulate the economy.

2. Typically favor peaceful relations with other nations, offering a ''laissez-faire'' or let it be approach to foreign policy.

3. Belief that the government has the job of correcting ''social wrongs'' and advocate reform in this respect.

4. Likely to be proponents of gun control regulation, providing for stricter gun laws in order to protect citizens of the danger of firearms.

5. Tend to focus more on correcting the problems that lead to crime than performing the appropriate punishments for criminals.

6. Tend to be pro-choice.

With some general stances of those holding these ideologies, this may help you to better discover your own personal beliefs regarding these issues and to find the platform you might identify yourself with.

Why Your Political Socialization Is So Important

In recent years, the nation has witnessed dramatic decreases in voter turnout rates, especially for the youth which include college students. Data is gathered as each midterm and national election draws to a close and statistics show that registered voters between the ages of eighteen through twenty have been contributors to the low turnout rates of U.S. youth. As brought forth by the Statistical Abstract of the United States, ''in the 2000 presidential election the voting-age population of 18-20-years-olds was 11.9 million.'' As a result of this collected data, a mere 28.4 percent out of a population of 40.5 percent have actually shown up at the polls. We can infer form these statistics that young voters within this age range ''historically have shown poor voter turnout in elections.'' These numbers are something our Founding Fathers would have been disappointed about. They founded our nation on the beliefs that our citizens should be politically aware, informed, and well-rounded. They believed that without the political involvement of citizens, it would be difficult ''to establish and maintain an efficient and effective democratic society.'' As a result of numerous students not possessing the vital knowledge and skills to make informed decisions of this nature, it is our duty to persuade them of the importance of gaining political knowledge, becoming an avid political participant, and how it affects their lives and world around them. We live in a society where youth including college students, place high emphasis on being informed and faithfully following the current events of their favorite celebrities and entertainers, while remaining completely oblivious to the individuals and news events that fundamentally shape our society and affect how we live. As students, there are many things in the world around that they wish could be different, things that they wish that could be changed. Yet, they continuously express disinterest in politics, the medium that possess the power to change the situations that they disapprove of. If the students exhibit passion towards their various sources and means of entertainment, why not show interest in what actually shapes how they would like to live and how they would like to see the world around them. Numerous students desire for changes in many issues, including but not limited to the legalization of certain drugs, raising or lowering the drinking age, taxes, and whether their city allows or bans certain activities such as the case of hydraulic fracking, which could impact their living situation. So take a stand, let your opinions be known to others, and know that you possess the power to change the world! VOTE!