A survey was conducted at Elon University in which 25 random students were asked if they knew who UK Prime Minister David Cameron was. Fourteen out of 25 students did not recognize Cameron’s name.
“I don’t know who he is,” said freshman Mary “Sofia” Callahan. “I think it is very important we learn about David Cameron because Elon chose him to come here for a reason and I think we should all become aware of who he is and what he’s done.Similarly, freshman Nikolas Owen expressed how though he has little knowledge of him, “It is important to understand what is going on in the world.”
David Cameron, former prime minister of the United Kingdom during 2010-2016, is the 12th prime minister to have led under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. He was also responsible for leading the conservative party from 2005-2016. Cameron is credited with modernizing the Conservative party, and he held the referendum concerning the isolation of the United Kingdom from the European Union, which resulted in Brexit.
The amount of political awareness that students possess on global current events lies in their willingness to expand their horizons and their desire to learn about such topics.
Students who lack knowledge not only about David Cameron, but also about worldwide issues are unaware of their significance.
All 25 students were also asked the question, “Do you think it’s important to know who David Cameron is?” Charlotte Duckworth, a freshman from Westchester, New York, explains her rationale for why knowledge about David Cameron is not important. “I don’t know him, so no,” she said.
Conversely, freshman Lara Struckman from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, claims to know more about David Cameron than some of her classmates, and she said she thinks, “It’s important to be aware of global events in general and political figures,” she said. “Especially in the UK as they are such a strong connection to the United States.”
“A lot of people don’t even know who he is or what the purpose of a prime minister is.”
Many students and even faculty around campus argue that Americans possess little-to-no knowledge on importsnt subjects such as foreign affairs.
Joshua Miller, assistant professor of International Relation said “Americans tend to focus on American politics.” He claimed it is “hard to say” why students are unaware of David Cameron, but that “it might be that students are just now starting to look at politics as they get into college campuses —especially for first-year students.” He describeed how “without understanding who he is, it’s really difficult for students to appreciate what the new kind of order is going to look like.”
British students who attend Elon have been surprised when they hear about students’ lack of knowledge regarding British politics.
Abby Wheeler, a junior student from Brighton, United Kingdom, said it’s “Very naive” to think there is not a significance in international current affairs.
She said she thinks it’s important for American students to learn about such events to, “Take an active role in world politics.” Wheeler described this lack of knowledge as a representation of “the floor in the education of politics.” She suggested that there should be an, “Improvement of the international media shown within America and a better education system regarding international politics and world leaders.”