By Hannah Rapoport
Ravi Raithatha, 20, observed interactions between groups of people walking by in the quad. As a transfer student from UC San Diego, he says AU is different than his last school.
“This school is a special place,” he said. “I have never experienced the political climate surrounding any election season as I have in the past couple of weeks here.”
Raithatha is preparing to vote in the upcoming New Jersey midterm elections, and is starting to look into each candidate’s views. While Raithatha isn’t sure who he will vote for yet, he said that he feels strongly about immigration reform and plans to vote for a candidate whose views on immigration reflect his own.
“The government is negatively reshaping discourse around immigrants by painting them as criminals,” Raithatha said.
Raithatha said that it’s hard for him to fathom the idea of children being separated from their families as a result of the this administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy.
“These people go through hell and back just to get to this country in the first place, and when they finally arrive, it’s only the beginning of the hardships they face,” he said.
Three generations back, he explained, his family immigrated to the United States from India, so the issue affects him personally.
Raithatha is planning on spending a lot of time researching candidate’s views on the economy, specifically understanding policy that affects the income gap.
“This issue is most relevant to my life,” he explained, “because I walk around campus everyday seeing people have things I can’t afford.”
Raithatha feels that many people at AU don’t realize that this issue is especially prevalent in other areas of the country, including DC. He explained that in certain neighborhoods, especially in North East DC, people are being kicked out because they can’t afford to live where they live anymore.
Raithatha says he is ready to vote for a candidate who will push for change.
“As I become more informed,” he said, “ I’ll have a better idea of who that candidate is.”