Illustration by Christine Hipp

Election Day will be upon us a mere five days from today. With that fact in mind, City on a Hill Press set out to take the campus’ pulse on the election and the issues surrounding it via an informal and unscientific survey of students, faculty and campus employees. While our sample size was small compared to the campus as a whole and may not fully represent the entire spectrum of diverse opinions held here at UC Santa Cruz, it is nevertheless food for thought as the coming election quickly approaches.

The opinions expressed below are solely those of the individual respondents and do not necessarily represent the beliefs of the office or organization with which they are affiliated.


What issue is most important to you in this election?

“There are many issues of concern, but if pressed to choose one, I would say the economy. Too many people are out of work and are subsequently losing their homes, which is unacceptable for a nation of such

incredible wealth.”

– Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture, Derek Conrad Murray


“Immigration, because I am an immigrant and a student. Immigration and education, mainly, because of what I see from my position as a student and a foreigner.”

– Tona Thiu, third-year astrophysics major


Which presidential candidate do you support and why?

“I don’t support either of them. Although I tend to side with Obama on social policies, neither are interested in uprooting the systemic injustice that I think is the real crux of America’s problems.”

– Jason Towry, fourth-year anthropology major


“Barack Obama. I believe he is a very thoughtful, brilliant man navigating a seriously damaged ship of state more successfully than he gets credit for. His efforts had the effect of keeping us from falling into a true depression, he has re-invigorated our damaged reputation in the world, and he has made changes in national policy despite dealing with the most polarized legislative process since Reconstruction.”

– Lisa Akeson, Director of Real Estate Office at UCSC


What do you think will be the most difficult issue faced by the next president?

“I think one of the most important issues is one neither of them seems to really want to face, and that’s climate change.”

– Anne Hayes, Sciences Development Office


“U.S. imperialism and the environmental crisis.”

– Emma Perez, fifth-year anthropology major


In your opinion, how does this 

election differ from others?

“I see it as different on a personal level. In 2000 when the last president was elected I was single, younger, and relatively new to my chosen career. I had less to lose. Now in 2012, I have a four-year-old and four-month-old, and I am thinking more and more about their future. I really believe that some of the cornerstone principles and programs that have made this country great are in jeopardy. I believe action needs to happen now in order to preserve and improve our country for future generations.”

– Wade Garza, Unit Manager, UC Santa Cruz Dining at Crown/Merrill Dining Commons


“This election … there are higher stakes out there, so I am feeling the energy and the sense of urgency but on a bigger scale than in 2008. Voting in America wasn’t always just going to a [polling place] and casting your vote. Many men and women, of many different hues, religions, etc., paid their lives for this act, which some take for granted … So wherever you land as to where your support lies … just let your voice be heard and vote on Nov. 6, 2012.”

– Marla Wyche-Hall, director of the African American Resource & Cultural Center


What direction would you like to see the U.S. moving toward over the next four years?

“I’d like to see us move toward a situation where we look back and we say ‘remember when most of the front page articles on prime news outlets were written by white males? Remember when you had to be afraid to admit your sexuality in public? Remember that time in the 2000s when we had that terrible recession? Aren’t we glad that we’ve settled down and we’ve learned better how to fit into a global economy and not to try and be isolationist?’ That’s what I would like.”

– Tracy Larrabee, professor of computer engineering


Additional video supplement to this story can be found at this week.