Whether you support the current president or not, his journey to the White House has caused more young people to raise questions about our political system now more than ever.
Students can’t help but be curious about the future of the country after one of the United States’ most controversial elections.
Colleges are historically known as being a hotbed for political discussion among young people.
Whether through enacting protests, joining political clubs or creating symbolic art, students have never been shy to express their concern for the country. Now, Packback Questions offers a space to capture student curiosity and spark engagement in line with recent political inquisitions.
On Packback Questions, students are consistently asking questions about the Trump Administration:
- Is building a border wall to stop illegal immigration with U.S. tax dollars ethical? Why or why not?
- Do you agree with Starbucks decision to go against Trump’s orders on immigration issues or do you think Starbucks is in the wrong and is taking jobs away from American citizens?
- Trump states that “A nation without borders is not a nation” – What do you think defines a nation?
- Releasing tax returns is a tradition in our election process, and almost every candidate has done it in the past. Now that Donald Trump has won the election, should he finally release his own?
What may be most interesting about these questions, is that they did not all arise from only politics courses. These questions were pulled from sociology, communications, and even business classes. This shows that students are able to find a way to link their classroom content with current events when they’re genuinely curious to talk about them.
We found that classmates were eager to contribute their unique mixture of knowledge in economics, history, philosophy, etc when it came to questions about Trump. They see it as a way to synthesize what they’ve learned in the classroom and in life and use it to create relevant and fun discussions.
That’s why on Packback Questions, we’ve seen students question more than just Trump’s policies. Business students are curious to know how business owners should interact with a president who seems hostile towards those whom he disagrees with. Communication students are jumping at the bits to understand the President Trump’s use of social media. A student from the University of Alabama asks:
“The days are over where traditional news outlets post the stories. With the advent of social media anyone is able to let the world know what they are thinking and that is exactly what Trump does. He is constantly tweeting and creating controversy. How has this change in how presidents interact with society changed his perception and how issues are perceived. Is the point of his tweets to keep us talking about him and not the stories that really matter?”
Social media has drastically changed the way that citizens have interacted with the president. It’s an odd level of transparency for the government that people are unsure of if it has a net-positive effect or not for the country.
A fellow student replied with:
“Twitter, among other things, is how Donald Trump stays relevant. If Donald Trump wasn’t constantly creating controversy through tweets, he wouldn’t be as talked about for sure.”
Students from a different school question whether it’s even right for the president to be able to go unfiltered on Twitter, when others face much higher scrutiny:
“Do you think it is fair for President Trump to voice his opinion on Twitter without consequences while employees are getting disciplined or fired for doing the same?”
What is so great about this dialogue is that it synthesizes everything many students have learned about in American History, and flip it on its head. The president is employing many of the same tactics that other presidents used when they were elected, which some claim as fear-mongering and divisive politics, but he’s also doing so many unique things that we’ve never seen before.
He became the most talked about man in America because of his ability to attract controversial attention.
This is causing a reaction in young people. It’s causing students to think about the world more intently.
Is the president wrong to do the action that he wants to do? Is it in his legal right to do that? How much power should the government have in the first place?
Packback Questions is one of the best places to capture intellectual discussion of current events. As more important cultural changes occur, our platform seeks to stimulate the growth of a whole new wave of young thinkers.
Understanding more about political current events not only fuels excellent student engagement and discussion, it prepares students to take this thinking and developed knowledge to the world outside of the classroom and become more knowledgeable citizens.
If Trump is the catalyst for improved discussion and engagement, then Packback Questions is the platform to support it.
Written by Evan Le