Student groups to ‘March to the Polls’
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 00:11
Students can march to the polls with their classmates if they’re looking to vote today. Several organizations on campus coordinated a "March to the Polls" event that starts at the clock tower after students meet at 3 p.m.
Sam Houston State Homecoming King Ashton Winfree is spearheading the event and said it’s meant to pull students together for a shared interest, which for many is voting and for the first time.
"We have a role and we play an important part in the economy discussion," Winfree said. "Just because you’re in school and you graduate from college doesn’t mean you’re going to find a job right away. Decisions have to be made when it comes to education and economics."
Winfree is the president of the Talented Tenth, who along with the Bearkat Democrats, Black Student Alliance, African Student Alliance and Delta Sigma Theta and Women United, organized the march. A similar event was held in 2004, but that was before the significant demographic change in voter turnout.
From 2004 to 2008, voters of color increased by 21 percent, according to exit polls. The same polls show that voters age 18-29 increased by 9 percent.
"With the whole election process, we’ve been registering people to vote and then encouraging them to go out and vote," Chidera Eneh of Black Student Alliance said. "So whenever we were approached with the idea to march to the polls, of course we were going to take it."
Brian Howard of the Bearkat Democrats approached Winfree with the idea of a march a week ago and pulled together other organizations to participate in the event. Some have been tasked with placing signs on campus, while others are making signs intended to be creative for the march. The Bearkat Democrats are providing water for the marchers.
Aside from the presidential election, there are Huntsville City Council seats up for grabs. SHSU student Kendall Scudder is running against incumbent Keith Olson for Position 4 on the council. Joe Rodriguez is the challenger of incumbent Don Johnson for Position 3. There are also two seats open for both County Commissioners and the Huntsville ISD school board.
A goal for the organizations involved in the march, as well as a few others around campus, has been to make sure student voices are heard in the local community.
The march will begin at the clock tower around 3:15 p.m. From there, the group will walk to Sam Houston Avenue and to the Annex Building.