Preparing Us for Politics: Suffolk University's Voter Registration Initiative
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 5, 2012 18:10
As we all should know, the 2012 presidential election is approaching with haste. For a lot of the Suffolk University population, this is the first election in which students can legally vote. However, the 18-26 year old demographic, to which our student body belongs, refrains from casting votes and even registering to vote. Suffolk University’s Government department paired with the S.O.U.L.S. Center and is taking initiative to solve that problem.
Rachel Cobb, director of the Government department here at Suffolk, explains that the lack in youth votes is based on fear that they are ignorant or insufficiently educated in politics and civics, which causes them to deter from political participation. She goes on to say that this fear may be due to the fact many school systems cut civics classes from their curriculum, which leaves the future voters confused and wary of politics.
“The differentials in the voter age cohorts are reflective of the policy outcomes,” Cobb states. “Less than 50% of 18-24 year olds vote, while 60-70% of people over 65 vote. So, the older population’s voice is heard.”
Cobb refers to voting as a “gateway drug; the more you use it, the more you want.” So it is the objective of Suffolk’s voting initiative to get the student body to become hooked on this “voting drug” in any way they can.
You may have noticed the voter registration tables set up at the Donahue and Sawyer lobbies while you were walking to class. Those tables are the Government department and S.O.U.L.S Center’s way of introducing the voting way of life. The tables consist of representatives that are able to answer any questions and concerns surrounding voting and the election one may have. It is their goal and their pleasure to inform students about the election, the issues the candidates address and the voting process.
The tables will be available every Tuesday until October 17th in both the Sawyer and Donahue lobbies. While you are walking to class or heading to study, stop by the tables and ask questions, engage in conversation and register to vote. As a citizen of the United States and the Suffolk community, it is up to you to use all the resources at your disposal to participate in the upcoming elections because it really does affect each and every one of us. Come November 6th, you will be ready and able to cast that ballot and officially become part of the voting population.