Niles High School senior: ‘It’s on me now’

Published 3:31 am Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The votes tallied in Tuesday’s election will include that of Niles High School senior Cal Flenar.

Cal Flenar

Cal Flenar

Flenar is just one of a few in his class who registered in time to make their vote count in state and local races.

Principal Jim Knoll said this year’s senior class is a relatively young class with only 20 students who are 18. Sadly, he said, the majority did not register in time for Tuesday’s election.

Flenar, however, was preparing for his first visit to the polls toward the end of school Tuesday afternoon.

When it comes to the campaigns, Flenar said, “I have been following a little, not a lot.”

But there are some issues he’s very aware of.

“It’s important (to vote) right now,” Flenar said, citing health care as one of the issues still being debated in the political arena along with unemployment.

“A lot of my friends have (been affected by unemployment),” he said. “It’s very hard to get a job right now.”

Flenar said he wasn’t going to the polls uninformed.

“I read up on (the candidates), make sure I know what they want to do,” he said.

The very act of voting is something he said he didn’t talk about much at home but did discuss in the classroom.

“They (teachers) go over the importance of voting, how it helps the government system work,” he said. “It’s important because it’s on me now. It’s my future. If I don’t vote, I don’t have a say on what’s happening in the country.”

Another issue he hopes to see addressed by the candidates who are victorious on this, the day after election day, “cheaper prices” when it comes to college tuition. Flenar is hoping to attend college after graduation.

Victors of this election would likely be interested in the perspectives of young voters like Flenar — especially as some are looking for ways to entice students to go to college in state and stay in state.