Students all across North Dakota tuned in to watch history in the making as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took office on Wednesday.
The inauguration has everyone, including local high school students, looking ahead to the future.
Century High School senior Maguire Martin says following this election cycle has been an eye-opening experience for him.
“It’s kind of, you know, scary not knowing what’s going on in the future, especially with the Capitol riots and certain things like that with sides saying that there is fraud in our election. There’s a lot of integrity in our election system and that really hasn’t happened. So, kind of unprecedented things like that gets me kind of worried for the future,” said Martin.
Shannon Sorenson, an AP government teacher, says while many shy away from political discussions, she feels it’s essential to allow students to participate in the conversation.
“It offers opportunities for real and relevant content in bringing in those documents. So, we pulled up the constitution right on the board and looked at the words and why is it we inaugurate the president on this date, and what it means for people,” said Sorenson.
A report from Harvard’s Institute of Politics shows less than half of young Americans vote, and just 10 percent of Americans between 18 and 24 met their standards of “informed engagement” during the 2012 presidential election.
While that may have been true for 2012, many people feel that’s no longer the case.
Payton Bergman says she understands why it’s so important to learn about government.
“We’ve really learned that it’s important to be active and participatory in the democracy because eventually, the democracy is going to affect every single one of us,” said Bergman.
“When you connect it back to their personal life, that reduces that apathy, and so then they see the connection to why this matters to them and how they might use it as an adult,” said Sorenson.
Though Martin and Bergman say they weren’t old enough to vote in this election, they both plan to do so in the future.