Bad Weather Hinders Get Out the Vote Drive
Associated Students' Lobby Corps registers 150 people
February 17, 2004 3:37 PM
Rained out for the second day in a row, the Get Out the Vote Drive on the SF State campus still made a viable attempt to reach its goal of registering 1,000 students but fell short, only coming up with about 150 registrations.
Today is the last day people can register in time to be eligible to vote in upcoming California primary election on March 2.
“Part of the reason we are making such a big push is because of the new polling place on campus,” said Panna Sharma, a journalism major and the Associated Students Inc. humanities representative, who braved the cold wind and rain for the good of the cause.
With an agenda chalked full of speakers, bands and events, the cancellation is what drive members blame for the low turnout.
Performers and speakers originally set to appear included California Congressional hopeful Ro Khanna, the College Republicans and Campus Greens, as well as a band, the Reggae Angels, who performed at the event in 2002, in the sun, helping to bring in 1,000 registrations in one day alone.
Live 105 was planning to do a live broadcast until the detrimental weather conditions forced them to reassess and cancel the show. Members of their “Action Team” remained despite the wind and rain, handing out stickers, movie passes and T-shirts to all those who took the time to register.
“It is important to encourage young people to vote,” said Jacob Vivet of the Live 105 Action Team. “The last Presidential election was decided by like 500,000 votes, and there are over 2 million unregistered eligible young voters. If they all voted we may have elected a different president.”
Between five and six members of Associated Students Inc. manned the registration table, trying to draw people in with shouts and hollers.
“It is time we let politicians know they have to be accountable to our interests otherwise we will vote them out. The voter registration drive is about opening up the student voice,” said Chris Jackson, 20, ASI sophomore class representative, a speech communications major, urban studies minor, and member of the Lobby Corps, a new student group formed last semester.
The Lobby Corps, an arm of the Associated Students, meets with political officials to build rapport, explain student issues and inform them about student viewpoints.
Currently there are five or six active members but anyone can join. Their meetings are Thursdays from 12:30 to 1 p.m. in the Cesar Chavez Student Center room M-103.
Its first act as a group last December was to meet with Supervisor Chris Daly, resulting in the successful lobby effort to create the on-campus polling place. The group says it takes a pro-active approach to political and social change.
“We’ve sat idle and let things affect us for too long. Things like cutting the budget and outreach programs and the drop in quality of education. Building up these relationships gets us things, gains us access,” Jackson said.
The Lobby Corps, chaired by Neeta Chowdhry, is a spin off the California State Student Association Lobby Corps. The CSSA advocates that every CSU campus have one of their own.
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