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Democracy only succeeds when the elecorate is educated and engaged. But rather than "engaged," the word used to describe many Americans, especially college-age citizens, is "apathetic."

Less than one-sixth of eligible voters age 18-to-24 voted in the 1996 presidential election, and only 15 percent participated in elections in 1998. Neither of the major parties' presumptive presidential candidates seems particulary capable of attracting the youth vote this year.

The meeting of college administrators, scholars and activists at this week's Campus Contact President's Leadership Colloquium at the Inn at Penn shows that interest in correcting the problem does exist, at least in academia.

Their effort to encourage the candidates to engage college-age voters brought written acknowedgement of the problem from the candidates. Hopefully, they will also help to bring more substantial results.

More most be done to actively engage students in the democratic process. The University should continue in it's efforts to bring candidates to campus and provide politcally-oriented programming for students.

Candidates need to be able to adress the issues that concern cllege-age voters.They need to make more of an effort to communicate their positions to young voters, need to come to college campuses and need to be willing to address issues relevant to college students.

Students themselves need to make an effort to become more active and more politically literate. At the very least, learn a little bit about the canddates and their views, and take the time to vote.The issues of today, while they may not affect young voters now, will have bearing on our futures.

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