‘Voter Teach – In’ educates students


Donovan WilsonReporter

Students voiced their opinions about the Nov. 3 election at the local “Voter Teach-In” where they could encourage other students to fulfill their civic duty by registering to vote.

The “Voter Teach-In” event consisted of several people from around campus speaking on why it is important that everyone who is eligible to vote is voting. There were also voter-related resources made available to the students who attended. The event took place on Monday, Oct. 26 at 3:30 p.m. on the Buley Patio.

“We wanted to really emphasize why voting matters. We had the march for Black Lives Matter but now we need to vote like these lives matter,” said communications major and co-host of the voter teach-in Jamil Harp, a senior.

The main focus was making sure that everyone votes. There was emphasis on making sure that the voting process does not stop at presidential elections, but extends to the local level and even student government elections. The intent was to make sure that students registered to vote and there was the ability to do so through registration tables with QR codes.

There was also a strong focus on making voting more accessible. One of the biggest problems addressed was long lines at the voting areas. Ways to cut down on those lines were discussed, such as opting in for early voting or possibly sending in a mail-in ballot.

“Now more than ever, it is important that not only faculty and staff, but students as well, are vocal about making sure we all vote,” said President of the Student Government Association Sarah Gossman.

There was also a focus on the ideas of activism. The idea that voting is activism within itself and is entirely free no matter what was presented to students.

“Now more than ever, it is important that not only faculty and staff but students as well are vocal about making sure we all vote,” said president of the Student Government Association Sarah Gossman.

There was also a focus on the ideas of activism. The idea that voting is activism within itself and is entirely free was presented to students.

College students are historically at the forefront of many Civil Rights related movements. Many speakers, young or old, put an emphasis on making sure younger people vote. For people watching the presentation or even just on campus, this is the first election they will be voting in or at least eligible to vote in.

“A lot of people may pay attention to politics or politics aren’t for me but that simply isn’t true. Whether we realize it or not, politics is for all of us and affects us all in our daily lives,” said Diversity Peer Educator Marie Perez.

A component of many of the speeches at the event were anecdotes and small stories. A lot of the stories were about personal experiences or lesser-known historical sequences. For example, the events of the Freedom Summer-1964 Mississippi voter campaign were discussed. So was one presenter’s American experience as a kid.

Voter suppression was addressed as a main issue. It was discussed how it was not until 1975 that multilingual people had the right to vote. It was noted that this was 10 years after African American people were given the right to vote.

“Your voice needs to be heard on every single level,” said Gossman, “not just the national level.”

Photo credit: Jason Edwards

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