By Christian Trejbal
Last week, Virginia Tech student Republicans, Libertarians and Democrats debated on campus. About 100 people showed up for the event in Haymarket Theatre. Perhaps more planned to attend, but a raucous casino night under way in the ballroom next door might have diverted a few people more interested in blackjack than politics.
The sad truth is politics is an afterthought for many college students. Young voter apathy and the tendency of candidates to focus on other demographic groups create a feedback loop that reinforces itself and thrives.
For the half-dozen students on stage, however, politics is alive, vibrant and important. It shined in their eyes and lent strength to their voices.
Trejbal is a Roanoke Times editorial writer. He is based in the New River Valley. Follow him on Twitter at @ctrejbal.