Maybe “I just don’t feel like it” isn’t a valid reason to not vote, but it’s one of mine.
Every semester (whether it is every semester or every year-it feels like every semester), people get really friendly around Florida A&M’s campus. I don’t dislike it because I’m not from Miami, a place where people don’t speak to each other, in my opinion.
I’m from Virginia, which-from what I have come across-sounds like a magical land where strangers hug while passing on the street. It’s not. There aren’t that many sidewalks where I live. But it is a place of manners and courtesy.
But FAMU is made up of ‘Miami-minded’ people so, when someone starts smiling in my face I know for a fact that someone is running for something. This is when I start shaking my head.
Don’t get me wrong. I love free stuff. In fact, my freshman roommate used to say, “if it’s free, it’s for me” and I agree. During my first and second- year experiences of campaign season, people were passing out free t-shirts, food and buttons. I made sure I got one. But once the gifts stopped coming and my campaign shades un-blinded me, I realized that each time I came on the set during this season, I was wasting precious minutes of my life being hounded by some campaign speech that I didn’t believe in. And that led to other campaign mishaps that I disliked throughout my years at FAMU.
When I stayed in College Club Apartments for my sophomore and junior year, the sidewalk would be flooded with flyers. Flyers would be stuck in door creases and on doorknobs. There would even be flyers on car windows, and for those who don’t have a car yet-beware.
Rain plus flyers on your windshield, equal sticky left over pieces that will take an amount of time to come off. Sometimes they fall inside the window-those you will never see again. Once again, shaking my head.
Lastly, I want to touch on the actual speeches that we are forced to listen to if you decide to accept one of their buttons. I think some of them don’t practice. They just focus on their appearance and how many people are wearing a shirt with their face on it, but they don’t remember that they have to speak to other people who don’t know who they are.
Recently, someone told me about an experience they had with a current campaign candidate. He gave this person a flyer, and starting speaking about his campaign and why this person should vote for him. The only problem was that the candidate was looking at his phone the whole time he was talking. It’s something that I’ve noticed. The people that beg you, your friends and their friends for votes forget about you once they’ve gotten into office.
Other people just forget what they’ve learned in intro to speech and resort to using ‘umms’ while they’re talking to you and you’re forced to count each one. It kind of sucks.
But, that’s why I avoid the hype of campaign and thank God that J-school forbids campaigning inside of its walls. Sorry other schools. And to those who are new and don’t know how to avoid the hounding of campaign season, here’s a tip: when they ask you if you’re a freshman, say you’re a sophomore.