Students on this election year: it’s ‘a mess’

Horrified. Very tired. Ready for it to be over.

That was the exasperated response one student gave to questions about this year’s presidential elections.

And with less than two weeks before the Nov. 8 Election Day, some student voters have already decided who they will be voting for even if some are unhappy about their two main choices, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

“It’s just really bad. Neither of them are great candidates–one’s not even a politician, so it’s already a little bit of a mess,” sophomore government and politics major Yasmin Salahuddin said. “It sucks that a lot of people who are voting for the first time have to see an election like this.”

Despite that, Salahuddin has decided who she will be voting for this November.

“Well, one’s crazy and the other is not as crazy, so I’m taking the lesser of two evils,” she said.

Freshman physiology and neurobiology major Dominic Smith-DiLeo echoed Salahuddin’s concerns. This election year “makes me really sad,” he said, because neither of the candidates are good candidates.

“I don’t think either of them are fit to be president, so it’s essentially choosing … the lesser of two evils, which is really unfortunate,” Smith-DiLeo said. He added that even minor party candidates aren’t ideal either. “Like [Libertarian Gary] Johnson, he doesn’t really know what he’s doing. So I don’t think there’s one good candidate; it’s like which one is the least bad.”

Smith-DiLeo, a Maryland resident, has already sent in his absentee ballot. He said he made his decision by looking at the candidates’ policies and which he aligns with more.

Justin Broussard, a junior communications major, made his decision based on his party affiliation.

“I’m voting for Hillary Clinton because … I align as a Democrat,” Broussard said. “And I just don’t really agree with anything Trump says.”

He described this election year as “a mess, basically” because of Trump’s sexual misconduct allegations and Clinton’s email scandal.

Senior animal science major Shannon Pitts, after saying that she was ready for this election year to be over with, said “if we could just … not crash and burn, that would be great.”

She said she’ll be voting for Clinton because she tends to vote on party lines. An ideal candidate for her, though, would be someone who’s “focused on helping the portions of society that don’t have a voice in our current system.”

“There are a lot of people who aren’t represented by either candidate and whose interest don’t fund the candidate because they don’t have any money,” she added.

Salahuddin said she would want a president who can “at least try to bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats,” and she isn’t alone in this.

“An ideal candidate would be someone who’s willing to compromise, because I think our two-party system is very broken and we need someone both parties can get behind,” Smith-DiLeo said.

“I don’t think we’ve seen that in a while.”