Some University of South Florida students are eager to engage other students this month in the upcoming presidential election. Some are walking around campus making sure students and professors were registered to vote. Also, there were people trying to determine who students were voting for.
Not everyone who lives in the United States, however, has a voice that is heard when it comes time to vote. There are many international students who do not have citizenship and cannot vote. USF Tampa campus has 2,106 International Students, which constitutes 4 percent of the school.
Despite not being able to vote, those international students offer a unique viewpoint, the Yale News is reporting:
Students who come from countries outside the United States, many of whom are unable to vote next week, offer an outside perspective on the upcoming elections, especially in regards to the American two-party system. Noting robust on-campus political activity, such as phone banking, canvassing and debate-watching, they said that American students often do not realize how high the level of participation in the American political process is.
“Americans might not appreciate how substantive their political discourse is compared to other countries. For example, in Filipino elections, you’d never have discussions involving health care as a deciding factor in an election,” said Leandro Leviste ’15, a Philippines native who is the son of Filipino Senator Loren Legarda. “As much as people paint the American political system as elitist, it is still more open to people rising through the ranks than many other countries in the world.”
Some students come up with creative ideas on how to gain perspective from international student on the upcoming election. This September a graduate student from Walter International Center, “came up with the idea to get foreign students involved with the American political process.”