The COVID-19 health crisis is making the 2020 general election look very different than it was in previous election years for Americans.
These changes also affect Gettysburg College students, many of whom are currently off campus and many of whom are first choosing.
Informal polls on Facebook, mostly made up of students who said they saw the first presidential debate on September 29, suggest that college students have a five-to-one chance, but about ten percent, more likely for Joe Biden as students voting for Donald Trump said they were not going to vote.
Over the past election years, students and faculty have worked tirelessly to help other students learn more about the elections by creating briefings that discussed how to vote, vote and how to become more politically active as a student.
Gettysburg College Democrats typically set up voter registration stations along with information booths where students can register to vote and get more information about the election. The Gettysburg College branch of Democracy Matters, a non-partisan organization that aims to train young voters, was also active in the process.
This process continued this year even though the majority of students are off-campus in remote locations.
Many professors have provided online voter registration information, links to voter registration websites, and encouragement for students to use their votes to vote and influence.
Students posted encouragement on social media and expressed their desire for others to vote.
And the College Democrats have been hosting debate watch parties and debriefings on Zoom for the past few weeks.
On campus sports teams like the women's swimming team recently announced that they have committed to achieving 100% voter registration as a team.
"It was part of a bigger challenge among the D3 sports teams to be 100% registered and our team captain came up with the idea of being 100% registered and we all thought it was a great idea!" Shared Grace Boback , a sophomore Gettysburg swim team.
"I'm voting for Joe Biden," said a senior on campus. "I am voting for social issues like the legalization of marijuana and to get Donald Trump out of the office to hopefully minimize polarization in public." I'll be voting in the mail in New Jersey.
"I'm not sure I will vote," said another student. I feel like I don't have enough in-depth knowledge of any of the candidates to have a legitimate voice. I can lean in one way or another, but it's mostly based on what other people are saying about the candidates. If I voted, I would go with Trump. I would probably vote by mail and not be sure which state, possibly Pennsylvania.
"I will vote to have a say in how our government is run," said another senior. “I'm going to vote for Biden because I don't think Trump represented the country well and the country is very divided during his tenure. I will vote in person in Pennsylvania. "
“I will vote because it is important and because it is our constitutional right. If a person doesn't like the way the country is run, they should vote for it, said a junior on campus. "I'm going to vote for Joe Biden on a New Jersey postal ballot
"Every vote needs to be heard to change / not change their country's policies," said another senior who was planning to vote by postal vote in Pennsylvania. I will vote for Joe Biden. I believe it is the lesser of the two evils. "
"Yes, I will vote on it," said another student. "I think the vote is one of the rare opportunities to express your opinion and make a meaningful contribution to the (temporary) future of the country."
Other students we spoke to said they voted because they were "unhappy with our political situation and" because I want change to happen ".
CJ is an intern at News and a senior at Gettysburg College.
CJ played soccer and lacrosse in high school and plays on the Bullets soccer team.
He has worked as a goalscorer and social media representative for the communications division of Gettysburg College Athletics.
CJ is an active brother of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Brotherhood, where he served as an express chair and property manager.
Sofia is an intern at News and Sophomore at Gettysburg College. She is studying political science with minor subjects in globalization, anthropology and Spanish.
Sofia has worked as a tech member on the women's lacrosse team and a team member in the equipment room at college, and has worked as a tutor and recruiter for migrant education in Napa, CA.
Cameron is an intern at News and a junior at Gettysburg College. She is an English and business major.
Cameron was on the Dean's Roll of Honor for four semesters, was an All-American Scholar for the Women & # 39; s Golf Coaches Association for two semesters, and was Residence Life's Rookie of the Year.
Cameron is a college assistant and writes for the Gettysburgian newspaper.
She also plays on the women's golf team and took part in the NCAA Division III National Tournament in 2019.
Ruffner is an intern at News and Sophomore at Gettysburg College. She is studying English and Japanese and hopes to study in Japan.
Ruffner was on the list of college deans and is part of the college's Garthway Leadership Program. She is characterized by leadership qualities and dealing with the public.