EDITORIAL: The cure for campus apathy

Universities, as institutions of progressive thought and learning, are notoriously known as hotbeds of political thought and activism.

For the first time in the last few years, Villanova is living up to this stereotype. Before the state primary on April 22, two out of three of the major presidential campaigns will have made an appearance on Villanova’s campus.

Michelle Obama spoke at Jake Nevin Field House before Easter Break and Sen. John McCain will pay a visit to Villanova as a guest on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” in two weeks.

No doubt our serendipitous location in the swing region of the swing state for the Pennsylvania primary has made a contribution to the spirit of activism in this community.

On Monday, Democratic Party enrollment soared past 4 million, setting a state record for registered primary voters. The five counties surrounding Philadelphia will play a momentous role in deciding who is awarded those crucial 158 delegates.

Delaware County (home to Villanova), with its increasingly diverse populace, is especially critical to the two Democratic frontrunners. For this reason, all of the presidential candidates have been campaigning heavily in this region.

In the past, our campus has been commonly regarded as politically apathetic for whatever reason, but this notion has largely disappeared in the past few months.

For example, numerous official and unofficial student clubs for the respective candidates have formed, including Villanovans for Obama in February and Villanovans for Hillary this month. The Michelle Obama event was essentially a student-run effort. That same group has also been aggressively registering students to vote in anticipation for the primary on April 22.

The notorious sidewalk chalk battle has not ceased since the Paulies sparked the trend in November. Supporters of the other candidates have also taken advantage of the free political advertising on campus (and sometimes manipulated the words of others).

All of this aside, it will be interesting to see if our recent political fervor at Villanova will continue past inauguration in January or if it’s just an election year fad.

When the dust has settled and we’ve decided on a president, the problems and issues we debated will be there waiting.

If we want to be an engaged and informed student body interested in the wellbeing of society and the world and if we care about the future of our country, our economy and future generations, we should continue to be active participants in the political process well beyond voting day. It’s as simple as that.