Seton Hill University is host to a number of students from around the world ranging from Germany to Canada to the Virgin Islands as part of the intercultural program. With such a diverse group of students, there are many different opinions about politics with the upcoming election.
As head of the intercultural department, Keisha Jimmerson works with and aids these students. When asked about the intercultural student’s ability to participate in the election Jimmerson explained, “Students that are truly international students that are here on a visa, they cannot vote.”
“But the Virgin Island students, since this is their place of residence for the majority of the year they can vote,” Jimmerson said.
But just like everyone else they also need to be registered voters.
“So what we did is send out letters to the ones who wanted to vote and told them that they had to go down and get a state ID and some of them have gotten their voter registration cards back in the mail so they’ll vote in the state of Pennsylvania,” said Jimmerson.
“I was class president back in high school and I really liked the atmosphere of leading the class and getting stuff done,” said freshman computer and information services major Malik Francis. Francis is a student from the Virgin Islands and also president of the class of 2016.
“I do have an interest in politics, I’m not sure if I want to be a politician yet, but as of now I just like being class president and I’ll stick with that,” said Francis.
Francis is registered to vote and will participate on Tuesday in the election. He said he’s not sure which president he will choose, however.
“I’m not particularly for any one candidate because I feel both candidates do have good points that they are trying to bring across. It’s just that some candidates obviously are going to be better than others,” said Francis.
Other international students are still involved with the 2012 presidential elections, even if they cannot vote.
“I am both involved and interested in American politics. A lot of what goes on here has an effect on what goes on back home, especially with the economy. Comparing both sets of political systems is very interesting,” said Kevin Behar, who is from Canada and is also very interested in politics.
According to Behar, a junior political science major, there are several differences between Canadian and American politics. When electing a prime minister, there are five major parties. The prime minister is under the Queen who plays a similar position to the Governor General. Super-pacs and having corporations pay for campaigns are also not permitted in Canada.
“As for being involved I am currently doing my internship right now at the Obama Campaign, and it is hard to not be interested in US politics when I’m doing that,” said Behar when asked to talk about how he gets involved with US politics.
Behar was not old enough to vote in the last election in Canada. Because his mother campaigned in that election, Behar said his family was very involved in politics.
“ I keep up with Canadian politics by reading the news, and when I’m back home we discuss issues of whats going on,” said Behar.