Students Lead Voter Registration Effort
The Nov. 6 election marks the first time many Cal State San Marcos students will participate in an election, casting votes for not only who they’d like to see lead the United States as president but in support or opposition to local and state propositions and candidates as well.But before students can vote, they must register; and that’s where The CSUSM Lobby Corps comes in. The CSUSM Lobby Corps – the advocacy branch of Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) – is leading a campus-wide voter registration effort, hoping to inspire as many students as possible to participate in the election.“Our goal is to register 2,000 students by the registration deadline of Oct. 22,” said Cipriano Vargas, ASI vice president of external affairs and California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees member. Student organizers are on campus daily approaching students and giving in-class presentations about registering while also educating them on the initiatives that may impact them the most. “A lot of students feel a disconnection when it comes to politics,” said Vargas. “They don’t really follow the issues or know why it’s so important for us to voice our opinions. But it’s crucial that students vote and that legislators hear our voice – until that happens, what matters to us won’t be a priority in Sacramento or D.C.”CSUSM’s ASI campaign is part of a statewide California State Student Association effort to register ten percent of CSU’s entire student population. This year’s ballot is packed with state propositions of importance to education, such as Proposition 30. ASI and the faculty senate at CSUSM have passed resolutions in support of Prop. 30 – a measure that would prevent further cuts to public higher education.“The CSU is on the line in this election,” commented CSUSM ASI President Scott Silveria. “We are facing unprecedented budget cuts and are forced to turn away qualified students while the quality of our education is at risk. If we do not vote for the propositions and candidates that will protect us, all future generations will not have the same education we have today.”“As students, we often like to complain when tuition increases or when we don’t agree with what’s going on politically, but most of us don’t vote,” said Vargas. “As young adults, it’s imperative that we vote and have our voices heard.”ASI is planning a Presidential Debate Watch Party on Oct. 16 at the University Village Apartments Community Center and an Oct. 30 educational forum during U-hour on Proposition 30.“ASI works to do everything in our power to fight for students’ rights, lower tuition and increase financial aid; but without the support of our fellow students through voting, we have no credibility,” Silveria emphasized. “Regardless of political party, our future is at stake and we need students to vote to save it.”For more information on the November election, visit the California’s Secretary of State Official Voter Registration Guide.