By Melissa Bounoua
November 4th, it is eventually the Election day. Students at MU are excited, but some of them won’t vote, even if they would love to. Because they are not US citizens. However, you can hear them talking politics, meet them at political meeting or even find out that they are involved in a party.
“The US Election doesn’t only raise the attention of American people” explains Saleem Alhabash, a PHD student at MU from Palestine, who conducts a survey about International students and the US Elections.* “It is an historical moment that will influence the US Foreign policy so that’s normal for international students to be involved“.
So far, the preliminary results of the survey showed that students from all over the world answered the survey. “200 students answered the survey from 42 different countries. We had answers from really rare countries such as Trinidad and Tobago or Serbia and Montenegro or Vatican city” Results show that:
–90% of the International students would take part in the Elections by voting if they were US citizens;
-almost 59 % expressed their unwillingness to vote for McCain; compared to only 4% expressed their unwillingness to vote for Obama.
Prakash Jayabalan, 28, is an English PHD student in Pathobiology at MU. Not only is he really interested in the US elections, but he also voluntereed for the Obama campaign. “I have volunteered at Obama rallies, recruiting volunteers and given out leaflets after I first attended some Obama campaign meetings. But, being a non-US citizen I feel uncomfortable in advising people to vote a certain way.” If he was a US citizen, Prakash Jayalaban he would love to vote: “I would definitely vote. I would vote for Barack Obama though I do admire and respect John McCain. I feel very strongly Barack Obama would be the best leader to heal this divide and I feel strongly that his economic, foreign and energy policies are most akin to my own.”
Lasse Berg Sorensen at the Obama rally in Columbia, on Thursday October 30th.
Lasse Berg Sorensen, a Danish student at MU, was at the Obama rally last thursday. “I already went to Kansas City to see Barack Obama two weeks ago and now he is here in the city where I study, I am so lucky to see one of the presidential candidate.“
But Sorensen also had his own political point of view. “Missouri is known as a bellwether state and so I think candidates know the importance of Missouri”. McCain was here briefly last week and Palin was in Cape Girardeau saturday.” As the rally went on, he listened carefully to what the democratic candidate had to say: “He spoke a lot about environmental issues and in Denmark we are really concerned by that subject.”
Benjamin Banizette, 21, French student at MU in Political Sciences.
Benjamin Banizette, 21, is a French student at MU, who studies politics. He likes to analyse the presidential candidates’ speeches. He was at the Obama rally Thursday night with other international students: “I am really excited to see how Sen. Obama lead his meeting tonight.” “And, as a European student, I am really looking forward to know what the next American president will change because it will have an influence on my country“.