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Trinitonian

The Student News Site of Trinity University

Trinitonian

The Student News Site of Trinity University

Trinitonian

Exercise your right: Registering and remembering to vote

National Voter Registration Day demystifies the voting process at Trinity
The+SGA+writes+why+they+vote%21+%0AL-R%3A+Jamie+Thompson%2C+Bocar+Diagana%2C+Nina+Pollak%2C+William+Ponek+%0ABottom%3A+Andrew+Phillips%2C+Kiara+Fernando
Fredric Marmolejo
The SGA writes why they vote! L-R: Jamie Thompson, Bocar Diagana, Nina Pollak, William Ponek Bottom: Andrew Phillips, Kiara Fernando

The TU Voter Engagement Task Force, the office of the dean of students and Trinity Democracy Fellows hosted the National Voter Registration Day event on the Coates Esplanade. Federal law mandates that college campuses make voting accessible for students, and this event is a way to meet those standards on campus.

On Tuesday, Sept. 19, off-campus organizations like the League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area (LWVSA), American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions (AIT-SCM) and Move Texas attended in order to raise awareness for upcoming elections, register students to vote and check their registration status during the holiday.

The Student Programming Board (SPB) and the Student Government Association (SGA) tabled at the event as well, offering gift cards, mugs and keychains to students who registered to vote or checked their status. LWVSA had a real voting machine to demystify the voting process for those who have never voted before, and Move Texas provided pizza, paletas and snacks to students who registered to vote or filled out a card about the issues they care most about.

Kaleigh Cansino, a sophomore sociology major, pointed out the welcoming nature of the event and the significance of voting for college students.

“I take a lot of pride in Trinity being a voter-friendly campus. I think it’s important that we put voting on display,” Cansino said. “I like the fact that we have people here to show us how to vote, and if you aren’t registered, you can register to vote, and then they celebrate you if you are registered to vote. I think that’s really important.”

The event was an opportunity to prioritize civic engagement within the student body. Bernadette Buchanan, interim associate dean of students and Democracy Fellows advisor, believes the event combined student interest and commitment.

“National Voter Registration Day is a way that we meet our federal obligations,” Buchanan said. “But of course, some people are passionate about voting, so it works out that we’re able to combine compliance issues and passion.”

Kiara Fernando, sophomore human resource management major and Trinity Democracy Fellow, took the lead in planning and organizing the event. Fernando noted high student involvement beyond voter registration during the event. At each booth, students asked questions and participated in spin-the-wheel and a raffle for prizes.

“We registered over 55 students to vote, which especially on Trinity’s campus, where we have a pretty high level of voter engagement, already being able to find 55 students that we didn’t get to yet is really incredible,” Fernando said.

With the presidential election coming up in 2024, there is an emphasis from civic engagement groups to prepare young people for voting. To facilitate this desire, the office of student affairs wants to hold spaces where students can have deliberate conversations led by the Democracy Fellows. Buchanan emphasized that political talk can become tense, so these conversations are an opportunity to recognize other perspectives and communicate with maturity.

“How do we prepare the campus with deliberate conversations and how to come from different perspectives, but still go to the movies with your friends afterward? Because a lot of people want to cancel people or block people, and you can do that, but I mean, why?” Buchanan said.

Within the Democracy Fellows and task force, there is a desire to integrate voter engagement throughout campus. Fernando hoped that National Voter Registration Day would continue to grow each year, beyond being restricted to one day.

“Moving forward, I would love to see more events that really bring together all of the different disciplines,” Fernando said. “I would love to see voter engagement that takes place in our residential halls, academic life and athletic life and in all the areas so that we’re able to target as many students as possible.”

Exercise your right: National Voter Registration Day demystifies the voting process

The TU Voter Engagement Task Force, the office of the dean of students and Trinity Democracy Fellows hosted the National Voter Registration Day event on the Coates Esplanade. Federal law mandates that college campuses make voting accessible for students, and this event is a way to meet those standards on campus.

On Tuesday, Sept. 19 off-campus organizations like the League of Women Voters of the San Antonio area (LWVSA), American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions (AIT-SCM), and Move Texas attended in order to raise awareness for upcoming elections, register students to vote and check their registration status during the holiday.

The Student Programming Board (SPB) and the Student Government Association (SGA) tabled at the event as well, offering gift cards, mugs and keychains to students who registered to vote or checked their status. LWVSA had a real voting machine to demystify the voting process for those who have never voted before, and Move Texas provided pizza, paletas and snacks to students who registered to vote or filled out a card about the issues they care most about.

Kayleigh Cansino, a sophomore sociology major, pointed out the welcoming nature of the event and the significance of voting for college students.

“I take a lot of pride in Trinity being a voter-friendly campus. I think it’s important that we put voting on display,” Cansino said. “I like the fact that we have people here to show us how to vote, and if you aren’t registered, you can register to vote, and then they celebrate you if you are registered to vote. I think that’s really important.”

The event was an opportunity to prioritize civic engagement within the student body. Bernadette Buchanan, interim associate dean of students and Democracy Fellows advisor, believes the event combined student interest and commitment.

“National Voter Registration Day is a way that we meet our federal obligations,” Buchanan said. “But of course, some people are passionate about voting, so it works out that we’re able to combine compliance issues and passion.”

Kiara Fernando, sophomore human resource management major and Trinity Democracy Fellow, took the lead in planning and organizing the event. Fernando noted high student involvement beyond voter registration during the event. At each booth, students asked questions and participated in spin-the-wheel and a raffle for prizes.

“We registered over 55 students to vote, which especially on Trinity’s campus, where we have a pretty high level of voter engagement, already being able to find 55 students that we didn’t get to yet is really incredible,” Fernando said.

With the presidential election coming up in 2024, there is an emphasis from civic engagement groups to prepare young people for voting. To facilitate this desire, the office of student affairs wants to hold spaces where students can have deliberate conversations led by the Democracy Fellows. Buchanan emphasized that political talk can become tense, so these conversations are an opportunity to recognize other perspectives and communicate with maturity.

“How do we prepare the campus with deliberate conversations and how to come from different perspectives, but still go to the movies with your friends afterward? Because a lot of people want to cancel people or block people, and you can do that, but I mean, why?” Buchanan said.

Within the Democracy Fellows and task force, there is a desire to integrate voter engagement throughout campus. Fernando hoped that National Voter Registration Day would continue to grow each year, beyond being restricted to one day.

“Moving forward, I would love to see more events that really bring together all of the different disciplines,” Fernando said. “I would love to see voter engagement that takes place in our residential halls, academic life and athletic life and in all the areas so that we’re able to target as many students as possible.”

Kayleigh sophomore sociology major
I take a lot of pride in Trinity being one of the bigger campuses, a voter-friendly campus. I think it’s important that we put voting, on display.
I like the fact that we have people here to show us how to vote and if you aren’t registered you can register to vote and then they celebrate you if you are registered to vote. I think that’s really important.

Arya Rao freshman, math finance
I think it’s important [promoting voting on college campuses] to give a voice to college students at least so they can talk about what they believe in like in school and out of school.

Bernadette Buchanan, associate Interim Associate Dean of Students P.hD, Task force and Democracy fellows advisor
Federal law mandates college campuses make voting accessible to students
National Voter Registration Day is a way that we meet our federal obligations.
But of course, some people are actually passionate about voting so it actually works out that we’re able to combine compliance issues and passion.
Voting coincides with a lot of people’s first year of college
hey, you’re 18 now and there’s the eyes of the law. You’re an adult and you should have a say in local politics and school board all of those things.
we don’t want to push people away if they have a certain particular way of voting, you know, democrat or republican or independent. It’s like it’s not about that. It’s just about being a citizen that has been engaged in the process.
You know, there’s a lot of people walking around, who are sort of going through the motions, but these these folks are, like, intrinsically motivated, and it was nice.
my goal, to work with the democracy fellows to really get a pulse of what students are thinking
there’s a few initiatives coming out of the Division of Student Affairs about what’s the word, deliberative discussions, and what that means is like, being able to have a conversation with somebody on a topic that you don’t agree with, and still be friends at the end
Ensuring students are at the table
how do we prepare the campus
with deliberative conversations deliberate, excuse me deliberate conversations, and how to kind of come from different perspectives, but still, like, go to the movies with your friends afterwards, you
know, because a lot of people you know, they want to cancel people or block people and it’s like, you can do that but I mean, why?

Kia

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About the Contributor
Monica Martinez
Monica Martinez, News Reporter
Hi! My name is Monica Martinez, and I’m a Sophomore business major. I am a news reporter for the Trinitonian and I love cats! I’m a trumpet player in Trinity’s new mariachi ensemble and a TU student ambassador.  When I'm not studying, I enjoy listening to Taylor Swift and crocheting if time permits. This year I hope to raise awareness for the issues facing our community during my second year on the paper.

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