In Sept. 2017, Credible conducted a poll finding that 50 percent of students in the United States would be willing to give up their rights to vote in the next two presidential elections if it meant clearing their student loans forever. The same poll also found that only 13 percent were willing to give up all forms of texting and mobile messaging for the next year to forgive their debts.
On Dec. 11, SF State students were interviewed and presented with different hypothetical scenarios asking what they would be willing to give up in order to clear their student loans. Only about 20 percent of students said they would be okay with giving up their right to vote in the next two presidential elections in exchange for debt forgiveness.
“I think that your right to vote is something that people have fought and died for,” said Kara Zarkades, fourth year political science major. “Especially being a woman, I wouldn’t be willing to give that up.”
“I feel like it affects not just me, but other people, and I feel like that’s a greater impact than just my loans,” said computer science major Omar Alaniz, who was also against giving up his right to vote. “I could just worry about that myself.”
Those in favor of forfeiting their voting rights expressed that being in a safe state made them feel more comfortable with their decision.
“The presidential elections are already kind of shady, and I do live in California ,” said Alexis Carbajal, third year sociology major. “If I was the only person in California given that opportunity and not everyone else in California, I think I would take it.”
Bella Gallego, a second year psychology major, expressed a similar sentiment.
“I’m just not really involved in the political elections that much, and I also feel like since I’m in California, it doesn’t really make a difference,” Gallego said.
When asked about giving up texting and any other form of mobile messaging for one year in exchange for clearing student loans, approximately 75 percent of the SF State students interviewed said they would do it.
“Yeah, if it meant clearing my loans, yeah. I definitely would do it,” said Rocio Soto, a third year psychology major. “I grew up without a phone. I didn’t get a phone until high school, so I’m sure I’ll manage.”
“Oh hell yeah,” said business marketing major Ismael Soto. “You need to get away from people a bit. You need to get away from technology so you can learn about yourself more. And if it means to have no money owed to the government, then that’s cool too.”
Students were also asked if they could give up social media forever for debt forgiveness, and about 35 percent said they would do it.
Civil engineering student Mamunna Gorsi expressed that she would rather make payments on her loans than give up social media forever because she likes to stay connected. Other students also expressed that social media is one of the only ways they can stay in touch with relatives and friends who live out of the country, and they would not be willing to give that up.