It’s time for our elected leaders to grow up

Squawking by immature politicians solves nothing

Photo+by+Official+Donal+Trump+FB+Page

Photo by Official Donal Trump FB Page

By Nicole Biagioni, Collegian Columnist

Any American can see the United States is going through one of the most decisive times in our history: to build a wall or not to build a wall? To close the government or not to close the government? Whether you agree or disagree with these hot-button issues, you know that it took a painstakingly long time for our elected leaders to end the partial government shutdown. At times, I wondered if politicians in Washington D.C. would ever actually listen to each other and try to reach an agreement, but instead they would throw televised tantrums.

I got so annoyed with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Donald Trump having a squawking match in the Oval Office that I had to quit politics completely for a day or two until I could cool down. Even when listening to some other vocal politicians, I try to understand the logic being presented and it honestly makes no sense. Some of the things that come out of their mouths are strictly for the shock-and-awe affect. To be honest, the level of maturity in Washington is so low that even college students would be more mature in government than the current leaders.

This is saying something. College students are known for being studious, party animals or a little bit of both. The University of Massachusetts has that reputation. We didn’t achieve the infamous title of “ZooMass” for nothing. Sorry to break it to Neil Swidey, who wrote an article titled “ZooMass no more” for the Boston Globe, but UMass students still maintain this identity. UMass is known for large gatherings in Southwest Residential Area after sporting events such as the Super Bowl, among other things. ZooMass is ranked 40th for partying according to niche.com, and in a complex graph by Barstool Sports, UMass is ranked highly in the first quadrant among schools with a rigorous academic load along with a party scene. Granted, you aren’t going to be seeing Ted Cruz or Bernie Sanders at the next tailgate anytime soon.

Yet, besides the partying aspect of college, the maturity of college students comes into question because most students entering college are exiting one major life point and starting another. People wonder if students are mature enough for this next step. College students are trying to make a new set of friends, date, join clubs, exercise, eat healthy, do laundry, have a social life and get a head start on their career, all while maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA with demanding coursework. Along with that fact, CNBC argues 18-year-olds aren’t ready to take on thousands of dollars of debt. Even as a first-year student myself, this idea of owing so much money makes me feel like there is an invisible weight holding me down, prolonging my anxiety and fear. Furthermore, at this time, most students have no idea what they want to do with their lives. According to the Penn State Division of Undergraduate Studies, “an estimated 20 to 50 percent of students enter college as ‘undecided’and an estimated 75 percent of students change their major at least once before graduation.” Potentially finishing school with an unmarketable degree is an expensive mistake and difficult to correct.

However, the one thing students did learn from their secondary education, which is technically free, is how to properly communicate. Students are taught skills like making eye contact, saying I-statements, active listening, having and maintaining an open mind, etc. Students learn these through simple class presentations, debates, class discussion and technology and they don’t even know it at times. These skills help boost confidence and assist with important conversations in the future.

But now taking an in-depth look at the chat between Pelosi, Schumer and Trump, it seems very childish. When did all of those communication skills go out the window? We can read the body language of each politician in the Oval Office. Schumer is very stiff and cut off; even at the very beginning he wasn’t facing Trump to make eye contact. Pelosi was at least looking at the President while he spoke about upcoming bills. But as the conversation progresses, it becomes more hostile and incomprehensible. Schumer and Pelosi are talking over Trump and vice versa, making the whole conversation a deafening squabble and unproductive. All the while, Mike Pence is staring into space, making quality content for the internet to devour and turn into memes.

Basic communication skills seem to be lacking in Washington, D.C. and at this point, it seems like politicians have the common sense of middle schoolers debating over whether ‘water is wet.’ The communication train has gone off the rails and there is no point in even having an intellectual dialogue. College students are able to communicate their values, unlike the so-called leaders of our country, who are acting more like children.

Nicole Biagioni is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]