Global Politics

Lebanese students vote

Here in this hall of the university, a few-dozen candidates set up booths. But then you start to wonder how do student candidates afford to conduct these campaigns. They say they pay for it themselves. Few of the groups here are just for students and outside forces have a lot of influence. Some groups who purport to be independent use that as a campaigning point. This independent student politician says students have the power to affect anything from smoking policies to larger politics. One campaigner is even injecting sexiness into his campaign. Others here are also blunt about their odds, including this outsider politician. For the larger political bodies though, this is serious business. The American University of Beirut is one of Lebanon's most respected schools and one of its most diverse. The feeling is the student elections can forecast the nationwide vote, which occurs again in less than a year. But the feeling among most at the university is that the politicians don't make much of a difference in the lives of students, on campus or off.

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