Young people make up the largest and most diverse group of potential voters in the country. But the youth voice is often unheard because young people don’t vote in enough numbers.
“Civic participation should not only happen in the fall every four years. That’s why we are out here registering, educating, and turning out students to vote this spring,” said Nic Riani, a third year Public Affairs student. “We know the more people participate in voting the more likely they will do so for the rest of their lives.”
At UCLA, students hosted a “Date with Democracy” table with roses, chocolates, balloons and voter registrations to get students as excited about voting as they are Valentine’s Day. With over 13 volunteers, CALPIRG and BruinsVOTE! students helped register over 40 students through tabling and over 80 through class announcements, putting them at more than 400 for their registration drive in just two days.
CALPIRG Students partnered with campus officials, faculty and other student groups to ensure that UCLA students have the ability to exercise their most basic right — the right to vote.
In a recent email from Chancellor Block, Riani reminded students that we should “not to take for granted the hard-won right, responsibility and privilege we have to participate in our nation’s democracy. I hope you will get civically engaged and show the world that #BruinsVote.”
“Culturally, we’re trying to weave voting into the fabric of campus life — this is what Bruins do,” added Karen Hedges, Deputy Director of Campus Life. “Bruins are civically engaged and civically minded. Our volunteer work, our service work — it all falls into alignment with this. I think it is a True Bruin Value to vote.”
CALPIRG’s New Voters project intends to increase voter participation of students at UCLA by working with student government and administrators to establish voter registration drives by continuing to institutionalize voting — in orientations and move-in days at the dorms to get students involved in the voting process as soon as they come to campus.
Future events will be held to register more students for upcoming elections, especially during the weeks that the on-campus vote centers are open before election day.
“Enthusiasm for voting has never been higher,” said Shay Joshi, a first-year student volunteer. “We are excited to continue to work with BruinsVOTE! to register, educate, and mobilize the campus. It’s time we show the country that we are America’s Largest Generation and we vote.”