CNN Interview with Wellesley Students Spotlights How College Students View the 2016 Election

March 31, 2016
Wellesley students are interviewed for CNN

Once again Wellesley students demonstrate they are some of the most politically engaged and passionate college students in the nation. Five Wellesley College students, representing political views from across the spectrum, appeared Thursday morning on CNN’s Newsroom with Carol Costello. The CNN anchor visited campus Wednesday and spent about an hour interviewing the students on a wide range of topics about what one student called an "unprecedented" presidential primary season.

The students are (in alphabetical order) Sabrina Liang '19, an undecided voter leaning Republican; Hannah Lindow '16, a Hillary Rodham Clinton '69 supporter; Michelle Lu '18, a Bernie Sanders supporter; Emily Rodriguez '16, a Ted Cruz supporter; and Sydney Stewart '18, an undecided voter leaning Democrat.

Costello previewed the segment by noting she spoke to the students about "their trailblazing alumna [Clinton] and their thoughts about the 2016 race." In the segment the students discussed the role gender was playing in the election and media coverage and shared their views on whether they felt candidate Donald Trump would be "dangerous" for the country, in Costello's words. They also shared their opinions on the political climate on campus and beyond.

After the segment aired, anchor Costello commented that the students agreed "they were proud of the open nature of the Wellesley campus [and] that they feel they can talk to each other no matter what their political views [are], and I’d like to thank them allowing me to come in and talk to them and sharing their thoughts on one strange political season."

During the hour-long interview on campus, a host of other topics came up. For those who have decided on a candidate, Costello wanted to know what sealed the deal, and several shared personal stories of what shaped their decisions. The undecided students told Costello about the research and what issues they were still grappling with as they continue to do in order to make their decision. They students each were asked to sum up the primary season is one word ("disappointing" and "tense" were two examples) and were asked what they thought of what Costello described as a divisive primary. Costello was especially interested in hearing the students' opinions on how the candidates were representing women and how women's issues were being discussed in the national discourse.

After the cameras stopped, Costello stayed to discuss politics with the students for a kind of impromptu political roundtable.