This article appeared in the Fall 101 issue of Collegian Magazine.
With the presidential election quickly approaching, various student groups on campus have been actively involved in getting the student body eager, excited and ready vote on Nov. 6.
“The Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans is aiming at getting young people involved and ready to vote, by a concentrated effort on behalf of our 30-plus chapters we have spread across the state with voter registration, and by promoting issues that appeal to young voters: not getting a job after graduation, and the stagnate nature of the economy,” said Anthony Christina, chairman of Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans.
Many groups feel that it is crucial for students to vote in order to have their voices heard and make an impact.
“So often, people in the country have died and fought for their right to vote,” said Taj Magruder, Administrative Vice-President of Penn State College Democrats. “Voting is very precious and a way of having voice.”
Drew McGehrin, president of College Democrats, also feels that it is crucial for students to get involved because he believes the election will be one of the most important in history.
“I know the phrase ‘this is one of the most important elections’ is thrown around a lot in reference to politics, but it is my true belief that this presidential election is in fact the most important we have seen in our lives as college students,” McGehrin said. “We have the chance to have a pivotal impact on the outcome of this election, a fact that is especially important considering we live in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.”
Some expect the race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to be extremely close this year, similar to the 2008 election between Obama and Senator John McCain.
“President Obama really strikes a chord with young people, especially with the accomplishments he has had in office and in aiming to make college more affordable,” Magruder said.
In the 2008, the younger demographic showed enthusiasm and support in voting that many groups hope to see again over the next few months.
“The youth vote is, rightfully, given a lot of credit for Obama's victory in 2008, with Obama winning around 68 percent to McCain's 30 percent,” said Jordan Harris, chair of Penn State College Republicans. “About 62 percent of college educated people voted.”
Groups like College Democrats have been actively involved in getting students registered throughout campus. If students miss the deadline to get registered, they plan to hold events to remind students of the importance of voting.
“Once the deadline for registration has passed, we plan to hold numerous Get Out The Vote drives to continue to remind the students of the weight that this election carries,” McGehrin said. “We also have plans in working in conjunction with the Centre County Democratic Committee to try to engage students. We have a Welcome Back Party already planned for the first week of classes to start of the new semester, open to any student interested in becoming a part of our efforts.”