Students: HU professors did not stress civic virtue this election year

By Shemar Woods

Just a year ago, the first Tuesday in November created chaos around Hampton University’s campus.

For this year’s election, the buzz has fizzled out tremendously. Many students roam the campus unaware that Nov. 3 was Election Day.

“I didn’t even realize there was an election,” said Norbert Jones, a senior finance major from Long Island, N.Y. “People aren’t campaigning like they were last year to get the word out, which I think has had a significant impact.”

There has been a fair share of coverage during this year’s election campaign, but students from all over the country who attend HU share a common lack of interest.

Students say they “are not from Virginia,” or they “don’t know the candidates platform,” or “two years isn’t long enough to make a change.”

The low priority can be applied to Hampton University professors.

This year, no was little to no evidence of exemptions given to students who wanted to make a trip over to the polls to cast their poll, a complete reversal from 2008, when there was an unwritten rule that classes would be canceled on the Tuesday of the historical election.

“The teachers didn’t stress the importance of voting this year in classes,” said Edmund Dunn, a senior business major from Chicago.

The election teachers did not stress and students overlooked was between Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat Creigh Deeds. President Barack Obama came down to Hampton Roads last week to speak at Old Dominion University on behalf of Deeds, who eventually lost the election Tuesday night.

McDonnell’s big win was surprising yet easy. He collected 59 percent of the vote. The win also broke an eight-year streak, where Democrats had won the last two races for governor.

“I don’t see how his election will really affect us over the next two years,” said Jones. “Yes, the party in control has changed, but two years is not a very long term.”

The writer is a junior at Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.