College Survival Guide: Dump the rhetoric, get the facts, and VOTE this election

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Lip Bomb, the new Advocate feature that brings opinion pieces written by area college students that touch on the topics that move them most: higher education, politics, culture, campus life, arts and entertainment. We’re kicking things off with a bit of news you can use provided by Mount Holyoke College junior Emet Marwell. If you’ve got a burning passion for writing persuasively about important issues and want to be featured in Lip Bomb, contact editor Kristin Palpini at editor@valleyadvocate.com.

I remember my mother recounting how, as a child, she would run to the heavy encyclopedia in the sunroom of my grandparents’ house when she had a question. Today, we have the internet, an entire universe of knowledge at our fingertips.

The problem? A lot of the information online is biased — especially regarding politics.

Where are the facts?

At the beginning of the summer, I left my home on the East Coast and flew over 2,000 miles to Philipsburg, Montana, to intern at Vote Smart, a national nonpartisan nonprofit. Since 1988, Vote Smart has provided the public with straight facts on political candidates. All Vote Smart workers take a non-partisan pledge. Our work is increasingly important as it has become the norm for political candidates to dodge questions, thereby obscuring their true positions.

American people deserve better. They deserve the truth, the facts. Every American voter has the right to the knowledge that will allow them to choose those who best represent them.

Vote Smart has an extensive database of political candidates that includes their biographies, voting records, issue positions, speeches, and special interest group ratings. For the voter who isn’t sure which candidate best represents them, there is Vote Easy, a powerful tool that matches voters with candidates based on fifteen key issue positions.

So, take a moment to make use of the information provided by votesmart.org. You must arm yourselves with the power of knowledge. You have the power to create change.

Emet Marwell is a junior studying environmental science at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley. You can contact Emet at marwe22t@mtholyoke.edu.

Emet Marwell

Author: Emet Marwell

Editor of the Valley Advocate

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