The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday May 25th

Word on the Street: Politics during the holidays

Going home for holidays like Thanksgiving can often lead to political discussions. While many students try to avoid these conversations with their families, the recent midterm elections and current political climate make politics a hot topic for many over the break. 

Staff writer Claire Willmschen asked UNC students what political conversations they expect during their family gatherings.

Emily Hess 

Sophomore biology major Emily Hess sits in the pit on Monday afternoon.

Sophomore biology major

“I do talk about politics with my family, and we actually share the same views on pretty much everything, so it’s not a big deal at all,” she said.

Hess said going home for the holidays gives her a platform to discuss with people of similar beliefs because she said her beliefs are in the minority on campus.

“It’s a chance for me to talk about it, where if I talk about it here, I pretty much get attacked.”

Wyatt Plaga

Junior philosophy and psychology major Wyatt Plaga sits in the pit on Monday afternoon.

Junior philosophy and psychology major

“My grandma and grandpa are the lefties of their retirement community, so I don’t have a problem talking about politics with them,” he said. 

Wyatt said his conversations are largely based on who attends the family gatherings. If certain members of his family are there, he said they can't talk about politics because of the differing viewpoints.

Robert Biggers 

Bulls Head Bookshop employee Robert Biggers sits in the pit on Monday afternoon.

Employee at Student Stores

“My family either agrees with each other or is even-keeled and well-balanced,” he said. “We don’t disagree in a way that the cliché states.”

He said now it is hard for politics not to come up in conversation, so it is inevitable that they will end up on a political topic despite having similar views.

Michaela Woodward 

Junior advertising and public relations major Michaela Woodward sits in front of Lenoir dining hall on Monday afternoon.

Junior advertising and public relations major

“Our family’s really big, so we don’t really have a big round table set up. We sit at different tables, and it’s usually divided by age,” she said. “Most of the people other than the younger generation have the same views, and everyone agrees, and the younger people are just embarrassed of what they’re saying.”

She said because she’s from the South, the conversation never gets too heated but stays polite. 

“Everything shady is underhanded,” she said.

Reis Phillips

First-year business administration major Reis Phillips sits in front of the student union on Monday afternoon.

First-year business major

“In terms of politics, there’s different circles in my family,” she said. “My immediate family will talk about it because I share the same views as one parent and not the other.”

She said her parents are open to talking about politics and learning different things. She said they’re interested in what she’s learned at UNC, and how it may change their viewpoints.

“As for the rest of my family, I tend not to bring it up, but it does sometimes,” she said.


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