Student group 'Be The People' focuses on voter education, registration
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 01:09
The panic starts to show in students’ eyes as they see the red, white and blue flyers beginning to clutter the campus. Anxiety deepens as first-time voters begin to realize, “I’m 18 now, and I have no clue what I’m doing! Who do I vote for? How do I even sign up? I know nothing about anyone who’s running. This is too hard! I’m just not going to vote.”
An honors political science class and seminar realized students lacked voter’s education and decided to do something to remedy the situation. Their combined ideas and suggestions gave way to Be The People SHSU.
Be The People SHSU is a nonpartisan group committed to educating new voters and conveying the importance of voting. According to their Facebook page, college students should vote because “the decisions politicians make today will affect the current college generation for the rest of [their] lives” from the job market, to the health system, to family life.
Trey Cawley, chairman of the design committee of Be The People SHSU, said, “Our main drive is to get everyone registered to vote before the Oct. 9 cutoff date and then Be The People SHSU will focus on helping voters learn more about the candidates.”
He also emphasized that if students wanted to take part in the local elections they will have to register to vote in Walker County.
Ashleigh Sanchez, a freshman Business major and a member of Be The People SHSU, also encouraged students to register and then vote to make a difference, especially since each presidential candidate directly affects educational funding for college students.
She then said it was important to be educated about the candidates in local/state elections as well instead of just voting a “straight ticket” because it often results in an unqualified candidate being put into office.
Cawley said it is not important to Be The People SHSU who they choose as their ideal candidate. “We do not care who you vote for, as long as you vote with purpose,” Cawley said.
Be The People SHSU will have a program set up closer to election periods that will have drivers taking people from campus to the polls and back.