UC San Diego is helping its student body get registered to vote, and then stay civically engaged after Election Day. The university’s Civic Engagement Office, formerly Student Organized Voter Access Committee, is driving the initiative to aimed at encouraging students to make their voices heard through voting.
“Civic engagement is a lifelong commitment, and one that is so important for our generation especially,” said Janelle Eley, executive director of CEO. “Students often forget how much power our voices truly have — so our goal is to remind, inspire, and ignite the leaders within all of us and our ability to make change.”
To increase student voter turnout, CEO worked with the UCSD Associated Students Graphic Studio to create cards that were included in the orientation packages mailed to each incoming student. The card contains a link to the TurboVote website, a non-partisan website designed to make the voting process as easy as possible. With this electronic platform, students have easy access to election information to vote with confidence, said Heather Belk, director of AS administration.
“A number of studies have shown that people who have a plan are more likely to actually vote,” Berk said. “The prompts on the back of the cards will serve as reminders for students to be thinking about their nearest polling locations; whether they wish to vote in person, early or by mail; and note the upcoming registration deadlines.”
While the Tritons Vote initiative is a coalition among UCSD student organizations, UC San Diego Athletics has created its own campaign called the Triton Voting Initiative to register as many student athletes to vote as possible. The initiative was spearheaded by the Triton Athletes’ Council (TAC), UC San Diego’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) that exists as a forum for student-athletes to present and discuss issues relevant to the quality of the athletic component of their collegiate experience at UC San Diego.
“Voting is one of the most influential tools we have to effect change on the issues that are important to us, and it provides an opportunity to have a say in the decision-making that impacts nearly every aspect of our lives,” said Gabe Avillion, president of TAC. “It is about more than any single candidate or election—it is about participating in the patriotic act of getting informed and casting a ballot that represents your beliefs on how best to improve our country.”
— Staff report
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