Students across UMN share voting priorities ahead of midterms

Eva Dwyer, left, Joshua Mason and Peter Akal

Courtney Deutz

Eva Dwyer, left, Joshua Mason and Peter Akal

Isabella Murray

Second-year medical student Peter Akal from Syria.

“I want there to be a focus on health care and health insurance. More talks about Syrian refugees and resettlements, or any other refugees. Things related to taxes, and kind of a general sense of inclusion or a lack thereof, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation. … I’m registered to vote. I’m definitely excited about this election season because we get an opportunity to … fix what we think needs to be fixed or keep what we think needs to be kept. It’s also a little scary because the previous elections were unprecedented. The polls didn’t reflect what actually came to fruition. That’s kind of a little scary because you don’t know how that’s going to turn out.”

PSEO student Joshua Mason, from St. Paul, MN.

Mason is 17-years-old and is not eligible to vote in the midterm elections. 

“A lot of high schools are anti-PSEO because they lose a lot of funding for students who take part in it. I’m on the outreach and advocacy [committee] for the PSEO Student Association here on campus, and I think we’re trying to work with Tim Walz. And if he were to make it into office, we’d be working with him to implement changes in PSEO policy. … We’re hoping he gets in office because if he does, we’re hoping he has some influence over certain changes with PSEO.”

Sophomore Eva Dwyer, global studies and Arabic major from Minneapolis, MN.

“I feel like this season has really seen people wanting to get involved, and with my friends it’s going to be the first time or second time they are actually voting … they’re seeing everything that’s going on and saying, ‘I’m going to be a part of this, I’m not just going to sit by.’ And even though it’s not a big election, they know it still affects things. … Even within local communities, even though we aren’t affecting national things, we are representing who we are here.”