The Media School

IU students have become more politically aware during the pandemic despite being stuck inside

March 11th, 2021 by


Despite being in a pandemic, students have become more politically aware, according to three students interviewed on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at the IU Sample gates.

Why it Matters: Due to constant exposure to the news and social media, students are becoming more educated on political issues. The increased general awareness is producing a more progressive younger generation.

Background: According to an article written on Oct. 12, 2020 by the World Economic Forum, COVID-19 caused an increase in youth activism, especially in climate change, voting rights and racial justice.

What they are saying: Students said that the killings of Brianna Taylor and George Floyd, as well as other instances of police brutality earlier in 2020 prompted them to pay more attention to the news.

Sophomore Jessica Marquis, 20, from Evansville said since she had time on her phone and social media, she paid more attention to the news.

  • “If I saw something on Twitter and was curious, I would take the time to look it up,” she said,

Marquis also said she talked about racial injustice with her friends.

  • “The pandemic caused me to talk to my friends about stuff more because we didn’t have that much to talk about, and so these things became more precedent to talk about when we’re sitting around our houses,” she said.

Sophomore Andrew Armstead, 20, from Evansville said since he had more free time and also was on his phone more often, he paid more attention to the news.

  • “The racial injustice I really did pay attention to, because I’m black,” he said.
  • “I didn’t post much, but I did talk about it because it was a common conversation especially with my mom,” he said.

Senior Sam Boland, 22, from Chesterton said he was already watching the news because of COVID-19, so he also stayed updated with other events.

“You’re looking at the news more anyway because you want to know what’s going on with the pandemic you know, and all of this other shit happening all of the other things happening, so maybe you just are more in tune with, we were more in tune with events.”

The Bottom Line: Regardless of social distancing guidelines, the younger generations increased use of their phones and constant access to news and information increased overall political awareness.


“Yes, I do think that the pandemic is kind of the reason that I’m more politically aware and environmentally active I’d say, because well first the social media thing, I had more time on my phone so I saw more and took more time to, if I saw something on Twitter and I was curious, I would take the time to look it up, since I had the time.”

Jessica Marquis, 20, Evansville

“I’d say yes, just because I’m on my phone more often which led me to pay more attention to that kind of stuff. And the racial injustice I really did pay attention to that because you know I’m black. So yeah, but yeah I did kind of pay attention to it a lot because I kind of had the time for it.”

Andrew Armstead, 20, Evansville

“I would I would think that you know we’re at home, right? And you’re more aware of, you know you’re looking at the news more anyway because you want to know what’s going on with the pandemic, you know, and all of this other shit happening, excuse me, all of the other things happening, so maybe you just are more in tune with, we were more in tune with events.”

Sam Boland, 22, Chesterton