University students encourage voting

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Photo courtesy of Beth Beaudry

Beth Beaudry, Student Life Editor

Anticipation of the 2020 presidential election has been prominent among students since their return to campus in Sept. Throughout their weeks here, there have been multiple university forums and recognized student organizations (RSO) programs about the election. Nearly every residence hall has windows decorated with student-made sticky note messages encouraging students to vote, or who to vote for.

On Sept. 29, Tiara Starks, entertainment editor, went around campus for an episode of Charger Bulletin News to ask students and faculty if they were registered to vote. Starks interviewed one faculty member and eight students, only one stating that they were not yet registered to vote.

Starks said that she originally went into the segment with the mindset that students were only thinking about registering, or that they had not registered at all.

“It was interesting to hear that some students were planning on going back home to vote,” said Starks. “As college students, we’re almost stigmatized to not be active voters so it was refreshing to hear the consensus was ‘haven’t voted yet but I plan to.’”

Now, with the election only one day away, students are voicing their opinions about the election, and student leaders are using their platforms to encourage the campus community to vote.

Maddy Mandeville, a junior, criminal justice major says that some students are involved in politics, but that others don’t seem to care. She hopes that students realize that their opinions matter and how important their vote is.

“Originally, I didn’t plan on voting because I am not one for politics, but over time after seeing news articles and seeing how much divide this election was causing, it made me realize that my vote mattered, the other day I voted!” said Mandeville.

“I do think there is a positive outcome for voting because everyone wants change and equality for the most part,” said Mandeville. “Our nation needs to be unified and not divided.”

Jordan Harris, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) said that the organization is encouraging all students to vote. In Sept., they hosted a Voter Education Week and worked with the Myatt Center and the Civil Engagement team of the NAACP state conference to send members information about voting.

NAACP has also been using their Instagram to post about the election and printed out posters saying, “In this house, we vote,” which were placed across various residence halls.

On those who are not voting, Harris said, “It’s not their fault because I don’t think we really teach people how much of an effect voting has especially on a local level. If we didn’t, the right amount of local elected officials than the Police Accountability Bill in CT wouldn’t have been passed.”

“Redistricting is on the line. Reproductive health is on the line. The future of policing is on the line because each candidate has two different policies on CJ,” said Harris. “The environment is on the line. One [candidate] believes in climate change the other doesn’t.”

Desheania Andrews, vice president of the Caribbean Student Association, said, “[the Caribbean Student Association] would like to encourage all of those that can do so, to vote in the upcoming election and let your voices be heard!”