Caucus system gives students democracy

As a Minnesota college student, I am blessed with the opportunity to live close to the caucuses that take place in Iowa every four years.
This year, I made my first-ever trip down to the Hawkeye State to see the Democratic and Republican candidates duke it out.
I already look back on this experience as one of the most illuminating times of my life. As I listened to Martin O’Malley rally his supporters to hold strong, heard Ben Carson denounce Ted Cruz as dishonest and observed Rand Paul’s call for the restoration of liberty in America, I realized the caucus system gives college students the biggest slice of the democracy pie.
If you took a walk around most college campuses and asked students how active they are in politics, many would simply point to their “Bernie 2016” sticker and leave it at that. 
If you asked them why, many would say something along the lines of, “The election system is vast, and there are so many people who know so much more than me.” Others might say, “There is no way for me to talk to these candidates.”
The caucuses and primaries for the 2016 presidential election (especially in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina) let students meet the candidates, ask questions and shake their hands. My findings are as follows: Rand Paul’s hands are sweaty, Ben Carson’s handshakes are as dainty as his voice and Martin O’Malley could easily crush my hand.
During my time at the Iowa caucus, I saw countless students asking candidates about the issues and politics affecting them. The Iowa caucuses gave students across the United States a voice and a say in who will be the nominee for each party. 
I talked to several students who came to hear the candidates speak. They were moved enough by certain candidates’ speeches to get people to caucus for them back in their home states. I also heard from several Iowan students whose minds and leanings for this election were changed completely by hearing stump speeches.
The college students of the U.S. aren’t the next generation — they are an active group that has the ability to sway the politics of this country right now.
So if you’re in college, attend the caucuses in your state. Who knows — you might get a handshake and a smile along with that bumper sticker.
Nick Solheim
Minnesota Daily reader