Read what students are saying about the midterm elections

Zherah Collier, 18, is a first year student in the School of International Service at American University. (Riddhi Sarkar / American University)



“I really, honestly, would not let anything stop me from voting, because as a black woman, my community has come so far just to be able to vote.”

-Zherah Collier



Fiona O’Doherty (Shannon Walsh / American University)




“I respect a politician respecting the Presidency, whether or not I like him as a person.”

– Fiona O’Doherty


Erika Parjus (Frederic Marten / American University)






“The political conversation is meant to be progressive and stimulating – not aggressive or unruly.”

– Erika Parjus 





Aaron Misner (Elena Vernikos / American University)






“I believe in exercising my constitutional rights. We have been endowed with an awesome power to elect our representatives and we must use it at all times.”

-Aaron Misner




Annie Salyers, 21, George Washington University (Marley Hambourger / American University)





“[Voting is] a basic, fundamental way in which all citizens, more or less, can get involved in politics, depending on the barriers that are there. It’s one of the few ways in which your voice can be heard and genuinely makes a difference.”

-Annie Salyers


Mahdi Khan (Colby Parkinson / American University)





“I think that it is necessary that women are sort of coming up in politics, and someone has to see and support that. And like it’s not just going to be one person. It’s going to be male and female.”


-Mahdi Khan


Joshua Kam, Junior, SUNY Albany (Christian Paolini / American University)




“Terms like ‘the right side of history’ and things like ‘if you’re not with us you’re somehow inherently jagged as a human being.’ I just don’t like that kind of attitude. It strikes me as deliberate and nasty, you know?”

-Joshua Kam



Joe Gallo, 23, graduate of American University (Martha Hague / American University)





“The big issues for me are climate change, gun control. If we devoted the time we spend on Trump’s tweets to fixing climate change and gun control we’d get more done. We let him rent space in our heads.”

-Joe Gallo



Charin Khan, 20, is a public health major at American University. (Cassandra Castro / American University)





“I am voting because it is our civic duty. I think it’s really important because people have fought long and hard to give women the opportunity to vote and I think it’s important that we take advantage of that.”

-Charin Khan





Claire Coen (Rebecca Montgomery / American University)




“I think as a young person it is important to understand, even if you come from a blue state like me, that your voice does matter and that your opinions are heard.”

-Claire Coen



Jack “JJ” Joseph, originally from San Francisco, is a 21-year-old mathematics and art major at George Washington University. (Harrison Allen / American University)






“I vote because I don’t think my voice matters in a lot of ways when it comes to politics, but voting is one way that I can be directly involved in the political process.”

-Jack “JJ” Joseph





Neil Leisenring, 21, is a recent graduate of George Washington University who studied psychology and economics. (Harrison Allen / American University)






“I still feel guilty about not voting in 2016. Since then, I’ve had a reminder on my phone to get my absentee ballot.

-Neil Leisenring






Sidney Larsen (Jacob Wallace / American University)



“The only other time I’ve voted I’ve been in Iowa so it’s been easy for me, so this is my first time voting somewhere else. Something that my college did was they had it so you could register to vote on campus, and then they had early voting on campus which was really convenient and they would take vans to polling places so that just made voting more accessible to students.”

-Sidney Larsen

Emily Billado, an American University graduate, is originally from Castleton, Vermont. (Sarah Dube / American University)






“It’s a privilege to have … so by voting we are paving the way for a better future.”

-Emily Billado





Gerald Bickel, a Democrat from Jamestown, Pennsylvania, studies at Clarion University. (Kelly Conner / American University)




“Not a lot of people in our age group understand the importance of midterm elections. Midterms make or break a presidency. When different parties control the House and the Senate, legislation grinds to a halt.”

-Gerard Bickel




Christopher Reichert, student at American University (Rauf Nauman / American University)




“Free speech [is an] issue on [AU] campus, [especially] where conservatives feel like their voice is muffled.”

-Christopher Reichert




Gabe Benavides is a senior at American University from Boise, Idaho. (Jack Thuon / American University)





“It’s funny, most of … my liberal friends back home are planning on voting. But the Republican ones, not so much.”

-Gabe Benavides





Julia Friedland, 21 (Anna Perez / American University)




“Presidential elections get a lot of coverage but no one really cares about midterms.”

-Julia Friedland






Brendan McShane, 19, is a student at Franklin and Marshall College. (Anna Perez / American University)




“I think the fundamental right to vote is one thing that makes our country unique and different and is the one opportunity that gives everyone a voice to kind of say their own opinions and say how they want the country to be shaped.

-Brendan McShane


Sam Rogers, American University class of 2019 (Casey Wexler / American University)






“I think first of all there should be automatic registration.”


-Sam Rogers





Joey Grant, 21 of Orlando, FL (Andrew Rogan / American University)




“Every vote counts, that’s how I look at it. If the youth decide to vote, good for them. If not, then okay this is your world and your freedom you’re affecting.”



-Joey Grant




Jane Rothstein (Julia Gagnon / American University)





“I think that it can be incredibly discouraging if you feel like your representatives are not acting on your behalf. So in reaction to that I think millennials might become apathetic.”

-Jane Rothstein



Michael Quick (Meghan Howie / American University)







“I also vote because I feel if I want to complain about politics I should participate in them.”

-Michael Quick





Arianna Alter, 21, is American University undergraduate student from Beaumont, Texas. She is majoring in the School of International Service. (Kali Jennings / American University)





“I would say that, for as entrenched and confusing and polarized and complex as this nation’s politics have become, it has given you as a young voter more of a platform to make an impact… And for as long as you’ve been told that your voice is heard via your one vote, this might be the first time to believe it.”

-Arianna Alter



Nathan Wright, a junior in American University’s School of International Service, hails from Charleston, WV. (Daniel Ritter / American University)






“I know that if and when I decide to have children, [climate change] is going to be such a significant aspect of their lives.”

-Nathan Wright