HAMDEN — Buses normally best known for transporting dozens of female Quinnipiac University students to and from Yale’s campus on Saturday nights were commandeered for an entirely different purpose Tuesday — the democratic process.
About 50 of Quinnipiac’s 5,4000 undergraduates had left campus on the notorious buses by 4:00 p.m. yesterday to cast their ballots in nearby Hamden. But despite some buzz about yesterday’s presidential primary, the atmosphere at Quinnipiac was somewhat less subdued than a Toad’s Place dance party.
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The rain cleared and fog drifted across the wooded campus, and there was little evidence that anybody here was concerned about the primary — at least if one can infer apathy from the shortage of political signs and partisan conversation. While dozens of Yale students fanned out across campus yesterday to wave banners and urge fellow Elis in residential-college dining halls to vote, many students here sat in the cafeteria and studied, largely unmoved by the hubbub in the rest of the Nutmeg State.
Sophomore Chris Kito said he doesn’t think the election has much moved students here.
“It’s really no different [from] any other day,” he said. “People are going to vote, but mainly in groups of two and three, so not many.”
Kito explained that politics isn’t all that important to most students at Q-pac.
“I’ve seen the Ron Paul people a bit, as their headquarters is on Whitney [Avenue], but most people haven’t really done much,” he said. “You see the occasional Obama poster, but that’s only really five or six people [who do that]. Politics isn’t an issue here on campus or even a concern.”
Junior Kara Goldman agreed and added that, even though the student body is nominally Democratic, as are the majority of Yale’s undergraduates, few care enough to bring up politics in discussion.
“There are organizations that try to get together, but people don’t really talk about it that much — it’s not really a big part of our campus,” she explained.
Senior Nicole Dedina said that while most of the campus was apathetic, “there are some groups that really get involved with voting and politics and everything,” adding that she herself is largely unaware of what has been happening in the primary.
Despite the apparent apathy on campus, several students interviewed were more passionate about politics.
Senior Julie Hargreaves, a political-science major, said the feeling on campus had been “complicated.” She cited a rally for Senator Barack Obama earlier last week and a well-attended event that encouraged students to sign up to vote as evidence of student interest. However, she noted that many students’ apathy was a result of Quinnipiac’s secluded location.
“We’re a little bit away from all the news,” she said, “although I know that a lot of people are going to vote today.”