It's no secret that the millennial generation has a hard time showing up to the polls, resulting in a barrage of get-out-the-vote campaigns before November 2016. MTV's Peyton Hopkins admits, "I'm part of the most important (but laziest) voter demographic." However, he contradicts himself and pushes the blame aside by adding, "Universities need to start giving a shit about getting students registered to vote."
While those 18 and older have had the right to vote for 45 years thanks to the 26th Amendment, it is ultimately up to them to educate themselves about the issues and actually cast a vote. As is the entitled millennial way, however, Hopkins finds someone to blame other than himself.
"I don’t think my lack of engagement was totally my fault," he said. "After I turned 18 and was legally able to vote, I didn’t feel like my community — my college campus — created an exciting atmosphere around the election (aside from a few volunteers with clipboards incessantly asking if I’d registered). Even so, I did my civic duty in the last presidential election. I went through the motions and voted. That was it. No big deal."
While Hopkins says those who fail to vote are "not putting what we’ve learned is wrong with our country to use," he still wants to "give young people the benefit of the doubt."
"Maybe we just haven’t been taught the skills and information we need to do so and need more tools to function as informed voters," he said. "Universities play a major role in producing well-informed, skilled members of society, and educating young people about the importance of voting — of being good, educated citizens — should be part of that."
Hopkins already has a solution, "The All In Campus Democracy Challenge," which some higher education experts have raised concerns about for its possible ties to the White House. He closes by urging students "to ditch the apathy" and vote, a worthy call he should have focused on from the beginning, rather than seeking to spread the blame around. Administrations could help students, as they already are doing, but it's not the job of a college president to further coddle students by holding their hands while they vote.
MTV has engaged in its own campaigns to increase youth voter participation, which amount to advocating for liberal policies.