The election for a President of the United States is a big deal. A question that I’ve heard lately is, “Why should I vote if there’s no one I like?” The answer is, simply, because on some issue, you know more than your average American. If you don’t like the specific candidates, choose an issue to vote on instead. November may be several months away, but it is never too early to think about who is capable of running the US for the next four years.

As a Tech student eligible to vote, your vote determines many options for your future. Depending on who is elected to office, your research funds as a researcher in GTRI could be greatly affected. Your salary as a nuclear engineer for the Navy can be affected by changes in the defense budget a president proposes. With an increasing demand in STEM careers, students graduating from Tech are undoubtedly going to play a role in our future.

As a student majoring in ME, why should you care about this election?

ME’s have a background and education in the manufacturing business. There are current US initiatives to revitalize the manufacturing industry of the US. President Obama has bailed out several car companies to bring back part of the car industry to the states.

Many of the current candidates have these ideas on their platforms and are going to require the help of MEs to continue this initiative. This means that your vote as a ME will help select the president you believe to have the best vision to improve this policy.

As a student majoring in CEE, why should you care about this election?

The environment is becoming a more important topic every day. Natural disasters are becoming more frequent and the infrastructure of US roads and highways is outdated and needs improvement. Civil and Environmental Engineers have the background and knowledge of how to build and implement systems in an environmentally friendly way.  CEEs, which candidate do you think will be able to enforce the most sustainable construction of US infrastructure?

As a student majoring in Economics, why should you care about this election?

As we know from the past few years, the economy has been a hot topic and will continue to be for at least the next four years. With an Economics education, voters can analyze our current situation and make a decision on which candidate has the best plan to further improve the unemployment rate.

We need the knowledge of these majors and all other studies at Tech to contribute to the presidential election. As one of the highest recognized institutions for STEM majors, America needs our opinion, and in a way, America requests it.

As he said in the State of the Union this past January, Obama clearly recognizes the need for STEM educated US citizens.

“Maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to America’s success…if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas, then we also have to win the race to educate our kids,” Obama said.

Tech students represent this population of students Obama and other presidential candidates wish to increase. As representatives of this population, it is our duty as citizens to vote. We have the ability to put the people in power who we believe will best implement STEM developments and projects. STEM encompasses a plethora of fields, all of which are relevant to the rest of our lives. We are intelligent and informed in our areas of expertise, why not share our education with the rest of the nation?

We all have something to contribute to this election, whether or not we prefer one candidate over another.

While we might not all pursue jobs in the area we are studying as an undergraduate student, we learn how to take a problem, analyze it and find a solution. Tech trains us to do this in the classroom with hopes that we apply it to situations outside of the classroom.

My suggestion to those who can’t make up their mind which presidential personality they like most is to not judge on the personality. Choose an issue that matters most to you. If there’s one thing you want the next POTUS to be able to accomplish, educate yourself on each candidate’s platforms, compare and decide which candidate aligns best with your opinions. If you’re voting on something you have a concrete opinion on, you are more likely to gain a sense of meaning of your vote. Your vote exists for a reason, and that is to express your thoughts as a citizen.