York tries to register students for November elections

In collaboration with the office of Student Activities, York College’s Student Government Association has begun efforts to promote voter registration on campus for the upcoming general elections in November.

“We will begin our efforts on National Voter Registration Day,” said Anthony Andrews, assistant director of Student Activities at York.

On Sept. 23 members of student government and the Delta Sigma Theta sorority will be registering new voters and encouraging everyone to vote in the upcoming elections, according to Andrews. The event will take place in the atrium from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“I hope that we’ll raise awareness about the voting process and get students to vote,” said Andrews.

In a related event, on Oct. 5 members of student government will partner with the York College Alumni Association to hold a meeting in the faculty dining room from 6 to 9 p.m. Student Government President Shaikh Amin said he hopes the meeting will help educate young students on the importance of voting. In preparation for the events Student Activities will provide promotional materials, including posters and pamphlets. The pamphlets, decorated with the CUNY-wide campaign slogan, Voice Your Choice, provide information on how to register, enrolling in a political party and how to obtain an absentee ballot application.
According to Amin, this year York will be a part of another CUNY-wide promotional campaign, I Vote Because.

As part of the campaign, students who register will be asked to write down a reason why they vote attached with a photo, which will be posted on Facebook.
An important part of the student government agenda this year includes lobbying for more funds from the city and state, Amin said. He also said collaborative efforts and a high student voter turnout can help raise the profile of the school in the eyes of local elected officials.

“When they see you have enough students to vote and strong alumni connections, then they care,” said Amin.

Student government has also partnered the members of the University Student Senate, which includes student representatives from all CUNY schools, in a larger effort to promote voter registration CUNY-wide. Members of the senate worked on the promotion during the summer to register voters for the recent primary on Sept. 9.

York’s voter registration efforts coincide with the larger goal of  the Project Vote campaign. “Project Vote is a citywide campaign to get people out to vote,” said Andrews, who serves as the voter registration coordinator at York.  “The coalition includes a number of different organizations including the City University of New York.”

According to the website, the project is responsible for 60 percent of new registrants in recent years, and distributes over 100,000 voter registration forms every year and more than 300,000 during election years.

Despite the project’s broader goal, both Andrews and Amin agree that York’s efforts are targeted toward its students.

“Our main focus is the school, and if we educate our students they can reach out to the community.”

Andrews said he hopes to register as many students as possible.

“If we can get one more person to vote than we did last year then that should be deemed a success,”Andrews said. GET OUT THE CUNY VOTE!

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