Election News

International students share perspective on the election

As the 2020 election draws to a close, some of John Brown University’s international students have commented on their knowledge and thoughts of the electoral race.

Three international students at JBU—Damaris Merino, junior international business major from El Salvador; Luis Galván, sophomore mechanical engineering major from Mexico; and Jens Keemers, senior international business major from the Netherlands—shared their perspectives on the 2020 election.

Galván and Keemers said that they had become informed about election updates through media headlines and conversations with friends on campus. However, since they are not able to vote, they have not spent much time diving into the major issues of the presidential election.

“Both candidates are spending more time tearing each other down than they are focusing on their ideas and promises to their voters,” Keemers said in response to what he has seen about the election. For this reason, he said he finds it hard to understand what side of the major issues the candidates support.

Merino said she watched the presidential and vice presidential debates that have taken place to become more informed during this time, but she said that the debates are “hard to process.” Merino does not know how she would vote if given the chance and would do more research before doing so, particularly in regard to how the electoral process functions. “Even though I am not part of the process, I have felt overwhelmed with this environment,” she said. “I have been trying to get into the loop of what is happening, and I do not have a clear vision of what each candidate [is] exactly proposing.”

All three students agreed that there is uncertainty about changes for international students after the election regarding COVID-19, the borders and acceptance of people from different countries. Each stated that they are able to vote in their home countries, but the governmental systems are quite different than here in the United States. For example, in the Netherlands, “We vote for parties, and those parties decide internally who their leaders will be,” Keemers said. “The more votes a party receives during the election, the more influence they will have in decision-making processes.”

As the final results keep getting closer, students who are eligible to vote are not the only ones ready to find out what the results will be for the nation. “I am very interested [in] knowing who will be chosen,” Galván said. “I hear a lot of things about both candidates, and it makes me curious who will end up being chosen.”

“I am just very curious who is going to win, and how that is going to work out for the United States as a country,” Keemers said.

Photo courtesy of Minnesota UMC