Sign Up for CYPP Emails!

Last Tweets

Fall 2017 Projects

Check out our student projects from our Fall 2017 Darien class below! Our students created projects including Public Service Announcements, infographics, and op-eds on topics surrounding the voting process for Rutgers students and why millennials should become engaged in politics.

 

Infographics and Presentions

Check out this PSA about Rutgers University’s Voting Record, created by a Darien student:

 

To check out more student projects on getting registered to vote, go here.

 

To check out more student projects on getting to the polls and casting your ballot, go here.

 

Darien Students Express Their Voices

Two Darien students wrote Op-eds expressing their perspectives on  why millennials matter in elections as well as the impact they have on election results.

The Millennial Generation by Luke Hinrichs

Lowering the Voting Age to 18 by Komal Naqvi

 

The Millennial Generation: a Drop in the Bucket or a Tide of Change by Luke Hinrichs

 

Whether the Millennial generation sparks a renaissance of democratic participation or withdraws into a dark age of disconnection and disengagement will depend on how we act today and in the days to come. We are no longer just the beneficiaries of the generations before us waiting for a seat at the table, and we are no longer mere bystanders to the political discourse in this country. We are the millennial bloc, the experienced natives of contemporary times, and the present and future of America. It is time we start acting like it.

The Millennial generation is opinionated and not afraid to share its thoughts. We are quick to hit the “post” button and quicker to hit the “repost” and “share” button. But we are slow to the polls, and this is where our political involvement grinds to a halt. Millennials have surpassed all other generations in number, size and potential, yet we pass up the opportunity to see our influence unfold on the political stage.
Only roughly 50 percent of Millennials voted in the last presidential election.
Analysts and demographers have tried explaining our actions, whether in the form of insult, compliment or simply fact. While some make the claim that Millennials are apathetic, uninformed, and distrustful, data leads to different conclusions about the trends in our generation.

In the face of climate disasters and economic downturns, it would have been easy to be apathetic in these tumultuous times. Yet we look at our times with empathetic eyes, eager to make a positive impact on the world.
However, the consequences of our environment, created by those who have come before us, have taken a toll on our trust of the political system and institutions in general. Just 19 percent of Millennials, less than all generations, believe that most people can be trusted. This is compared to generations who lived through Watergate and the Pentagon Papers of Vietnam, historical moments that spurred widespread distrust.
Concomitantly, many of us do not affiliate with political and religious institutions. As Millennials cannot find themselves or their values reflected in the smudged mirror of American politics, over 50 percent of Millennials politically identify as independent.

Skeptical of political involvement, we have turned to community based, direct engagement. Only 32 percent of Millennials believe that political involvement is a major way to make positive changes in our society, while 58 percent believe community involvement is the most effective route for betterment. Millennials mustered 14.5 million volunteers in 2013 and helped double the rate of volunteering in the U.S. between 1989 and 2005 among 16-24 year olds. We are active participants in our own way.

That commitment to our communities must not be seen as a negative, but it must be accompanied by and translated into a commitment to political participation.
Millennials are changing the historic demographic in America. After four decades of dominance, the Baby Boomers no longer cradle and overpower us in their size and number. We were once too small to be considered; now we must be too large to be ignored.

This year, our entire New Jersey State Legislature is being elected. We have the power to vote our values, our preferences, and our candidates into office. By 2018, we will make up at least 32 percent of eligible voters, more than any other generation. By 2020, our stake in the political system will be more than 6 percent higher than Baby Boomers.

All 83 million-plus of us have a choice to make. Whether you desire the status quo or want to see real change in your community, the voting booth is the first step. Your single vote may be just a single drop in a bucket, but when we all vote, when we all act, we the people are not benign single drops, but rather, roaring tides of change. The pages of history are already filled with criticism and condemnation, but it is time we speak for ourselves and write our own stories of influence. We overwhelmingly have a desire to make an impact, a desire to act, and now, it must be a desire to vote. It is time to mobilize. Voices are not heard in a system that listens only to action. It is time to vote.

back to top

 

Lowering the Voting Age to 18? by Komal Naqvi

Good morning fellow Americans,

As you are aware there has been an historic decision that is being discussed in Congress today. One that may alter the way politics are conducted in this great country. The voting age is being contested, and some believe that the youth of our nation do not need to participate in the political sphere. I am here to reveal that I am in full support of lowering the voting age to the age of eighteen and here is why.

Young people have mobilized for politics before and it has created change for a future that they will be living in. They are invested in what will happen to their future and the legislation being discussed will ultimately affect their lives.

To allow people at the age of eighteen the right to fight for this country and not allow them to vote is a disservice to them. They can put their life on the line, but not be able to decide who represents them in elective office. This shows an inconsistency in what responsibilities are giving to the youth. They can bear the burden of a gun, but not the burden of vote. Young people are also expected to adhere to laws that hold adult consequences if not followed. If they are tried as adults, shouldn’t they be able to hold power in the laws that they need to abide by? They should have the right to civically engage themselves in the country’s politics, in order to end the hypocrisy of not being able to vote until the age of 21. Under the current law, they are mature enough to pay taxes, be drafted for the army, be tried as adults in criminal courts, but are unable to vote for the government legislation that taxes them and created the laws they must abide by.

Lowering the voting age encourages young people to be more civically involved in politics. They are already being active members of society by organizing communities around social issues that affect our daily lives. They are conscious of their need to contribute and participate in society. As the children of our nation are getting older, they are more passionate about what steps need to be taken to be a progressive society. By passing an amendment to the Constitution we can alter how the youth engage with the country’s politics and create a more democratic nation.

Darien Students Research Why Millennials Matter

Generational Differences: Millennials v. Other Generations by Joseph Campsiano

generational-di_24831446

back to top