Students lack knowledge concerning current events


Jose Medrano is a former Crusader editor who is currently on staff aiding the staff as an editor emeritus. He is a senior from University of Kansas who is currently taking a break from school to prepare and plan for his future goals while having a mini existential crisis, because picking direction to go in with your life is rather hard. Under his leadership the Crusader won two national awards, an All-Kansas, a gold medal and a first place online award. He also received Kansas Journalist of the Year from Kansas Collegiate Media in 2013 and was a paid reporter for the University Daily Kansan at KU.

College students are often perceived by older generations as lacking in a field of current events. The Crusader conducted a survey of 92 Seward County Community College/Area Technical School students dealing with subjects on politics, entertainment and sports to understand what levels of knowledge students have concerning current events. The survey was nine simple questions. Politically three questions were asked: name the incumbent and the candidate who are running for U.S. Senate for Kansas; name the incumbent and the candidate who are running for governor of Kansas; and what does ISIS or ISL stand for. These questions were simple yet students still failed. Students and millennials often complain about how everything is in shambles but don’t take the time to listen to what is occurring in the world around them. There are things that are actually important towards our generation such as net neutrality, the trillion dollars in student loan debt or the sexual assault issues that colleges nationwide and within the state are dealing with. Yet how much do you really know about those issues? Politically students’ knowledge is dismal. Not one student could define what the acronym for ISIS the Middle East terrorist group. Students placed answered such as the “Islamic State of something something.” For those of you who are curious , it stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or sometimes known as ISL, the Islamic State of the Levant. Only 16 students could name Sam Brownback as the gubernatorial incumbent, and no one could name Paul Davis as his opponent. Concerning this year’s Senate race between Pat Roberts and Greg Orman, not a single student knew either one of the candidates. With the Roberts and Orman racing having Senate majority and possible nationwide effects it is easy to understand why the race is important for people on both sides of the aisle. A Marist/NBC poll released on Monday shows Orman leading Roberts by 10 points among likely voters. College students fared somewhat significantly better on entertainment and sports topics. With 38 students out of the 92 being able to name the retired captain of the New York Yankees Derek Jeter. It’s understandable why students did better on these questions since many people have personal interest in sports and celebrity news. Students did know about famous comedian Robin William’s death. With 52 students being able to name him. Yet several students who were polled misspelled the comedians name as “Robert Williams” or knew him by his roles such as “the actor who played Mrs. Doubtfire” or “I don’t remember his name but I know he voiced the genie in Aladdin.” The apathy that students have towards the things occurring in the world is quite alarming. Current events are matters that affect everyone. Politics can be disheartening and wading through over bloated talking points, can be difficult but that election that you don’t care about right now will most likely affect your future. The college doesn’t offer a current events course but that should not deter students from finding means to learn about what is happening. Go to a news website, read those little newspaper articles on your Facebook feed, turn on an NPR newscast while you’re doing homework, watch a news network for a couple of minutes of day or do something that will inform you.