Millennials get a bad rep and have been called the “narcissistic generation.” Campaigns do not depend on the millennial vote although they could actually be one of the most important demographics to target. The rising cost of college education and the labor market affects this generation, causing millennials to be concerned about their futures.
According to the Center for Research and Information on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, 22-23 million young Americans voted in the 2012 presidential election Millennials currently make up the same proportion of the U.S. voting-age population as the baby boomers.
“That’s why Romney lost because Romney lost the youth vote and so, therefore, lost the general election,” said Chairman of the USF Republicans, Georgia Pevy. “We’re a big swing category. If people don’t focus on us, then they’re not going to win.”
More than ever, politics are gaining popularity on social media as candidates are trying to reach young voters, and while there has been the notion that millennials are apathetic towards public affairs, they are projected to make up 40 percent of the eligible voters by 2020, as per the Center for American Progress.
eVolunteers and polling center employees encourage voter participation and give a rousing ovation to first time voters.
The 22-23 million millennials who voted in 2012 make up nearly half of eligible young people. This year more is expected to take part and engage in the elections.
“There’s a lot of them, and if they did turn out, it would be a big deal,” Pevy said.
TAMPA, FL-The Brew Bus made a metaphorical bus stop Saturday. Since 2011, the Brew Bus has allowed its patrons to ride around the Tampa Bay area drinking beer and touring breweries.
But with the grand opening of Brew Bus Terminal and Brewery, there is now a brick and mortar location for customers to go.
“It’s nice to have a brew bus spot for when I don’t want to be on the bus,” one patron said.
Company President Anthony Derby is proud of the history and quick rise of Brew Bus Brewing. It originally started out as an actual bus, but now also includes the new aspect of a concrete location.
“We heard of all the other local breweries in the area starting up, so my mom actually had the idea of buying a bus and traveling from brewery to brewery,” Derby said. “It’s not the bus rolling down the street or it’s mobile, it’s an actual tangible thing.”
The grand opening included live music, raffles and access to over 20 craft brews. Brew bus also has other beers that rotate in and out, as well as cider and wine.
“They have some great beers, they’re rotating their taps regularly,” another customer said. “I popped in a couple times during their soft openings as well and enjoyed it.”
The Brew Bus will maintain its mobile presence, with four buses in the Tampa Bay area.
Among a list of hundreds of student organizations on campus, one feels its message is especially life-changing. The USF Navigators are a non-denominational community of students with a mission to grow in their relationship with God and to impact the world around them.
“It’s bringing you into fellowship more, helping you grow in your faith more and teaching you how to dissect the Bible and understand the overall meaning,” Monica Pritchard said.
The group achieves this fellowship in a few ways. This past spring break, the USF Navigators went on a service trip to Atlanta, Ga. On a more local scale, they meet Wednesday nights in room 3707 of the Marshall Student Center for Nav Night.
Additionally, they host different Bible studies throughout the week, participate in intramural sports together and share in fellowship through different extracurricular activities.
“Bible studies are just a great way for students to grow closer to the Lord and closer to each other as they pursue the Lord together,” said Luc Lawrence, a USF Navigators staff member.
Most recently, the USF Navigators held a night of worship, where a student band played songs of praise. Those in attendance were welcome to come and worship as they felt called to. In the fall, the group will be transitioning to a new campus director, Andrew Duran, as the current director Chris Gatlyn moves to Virginia.
“It’s a good atmosphere, it’s good people and it’s a good purpose,” Pritchard said.
At the beginning of the new year, the University of South Florida implemented a tobacco ban across campus. After nearly two months, however, the university is having trouble enforcing it.
“Any time you change policy, or you change anything, you’re gonna’ have a few people that are maybe resistant to change, or are not ready to change just yet,” said Adam Freeman, USF Media/Public Affairs manager.
There is no law enforcement involved or surveillance used. Instead, the policy is peer enforced. The idea is that students and faculty hold each other accountable.
“If you see somebody on campus smoking using tobacco, if you feel comfortable, you can approach them and simply tell them this is a tobacco and smoke free campus and politely ask them to stop,” Freeman said.
Students and staff at USF have not exactly jumped on board with this concept yet. Instead, smokers have been gathering in the places that were designated smoking areas and sparking up just as they have in the past.
For a student who wishes to peer enforce, the process involves first asking the smoker to stop. If that doesn’t work, then reporting the smoker to the nearest building manager is the next step. The building manager then could turn them in, subjecting the smoker to either the student code of conduct or disciplinary action, which depends on the position of the offender.
A protest was held Wednesday by several smokers, but USF is not budging on its tobacco policy.