Mallory Adams and Téa Adams send open letter to student-athletes regarding 2020 Election


File photos

Sophomore forward Mallory Adams (left) and then-junior guard Téa Adams (right) each dribble the ball up the court during the Aztecs’ 55-45 win over Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 17, 2019 at Viejas Arena.

by Amber Salas, Senior Staff Writer

San Diego State student-athletes are exercising their right to let their voice be heard during this year’s election. 463 student-athletes are registered to vote. Every student-athlete on 18 of 19 SDSU athletic programs are registered to vote.

With a passion to make sure every person exercises their right to vote, women’s basketball junior forward Mallory Adams and senior guard Téa Adams collaborated with members of the SDSU athletic department to educate student-athletes on the importance of voting. 

“We were just really passionate about seeing change, and obviously, voting is the place where it’s most effective,” Mallory Adams said. “But it’s only effective if a lot of people get involved in it.”

Mallory and Téa collaborated with members from administration in the athletic department to send an open letter in a newsletter that included their own voice encouraging their fellow student-athletes to register. 

“We worked with a couple of the people in administration to kind of make sure that it had our own voice, but was appropriate to be shared with all of the athletic department,” Mallory Adams said. 

It was important to Mallory and Téa to have their own voice be relatable to the student-athletes. They felt sharing their own voice could be the most effective way to get the population of student-athletes on board with their mission. 

The letter was effective as a few student-athletes from other teams reached out to both Mallory and Téa expressing they saw their letter and it made an impression on them. Several of their own women’s basketball teammates also reached out for tips on how to register to vote. 

“Some of our own teammates needed help registering, so we helped them register,” Téa Adams said. “That’s really what the goal was and I think that it was really effective.”

SDSU Athletics collaborated with student-athletes on a leadership council as well as Associated Students’ “Rock the Vote” campaign to launch a voter education campaign. The goal was to get 100% of student-athletes registered to vote. 

“We worked with some of the people on the athletic department staff,” Téa Adams said. “They actually set the goal that they wanted 100% participation in registering to vote in the athletic department, and they reached out to us because they knew personally that we were very passionate about this and pushing for change.” 

In total, 99.6% of eligible SDSU student-athletes are registered to vote. 

Téa Adams explained their goal was to reach out to student-athletes in a way that inspires them so others feel the need to participate. 

“It’s important for (the student-athletes) to actually want to participate in something like this instead of just speaking at them and them not really understanding the information,” Téa Adams said.

The student-athlete leadership council collaborated for several weeks brainstorming ideas of the best way to make their vision come to life. A main focus of the effort was to not sway the athletes to vote a certain way. The campaign focused on providing resources for student-athletes to educate themselves on the topics. 

“We just really encouraged people to do their own research, and there’s just a lot of resources obviously, that you can use to just become more educated,” Mallory Adams said. “That way, you can make your own personal decision that you feel is best for you.”

Another main effort was to ensure that out-of-state student-athletes have access to resources regarding their own state guidelines in voting. The team encouraged out-of-state student-athletes to reach out to the athletic department if they had questions or needed help. 

With so many student-athletes registered to vote, Mallory and Téa feel they’ve accomplished their main goal. Téa hopes student-athletes remember they have a platform and can use it positively.

“We are in a position where people are listening to us and we’re being watched, and it’s important for us to use our platform for things like this,” Téa Adams said. “When you do (use the platform), I really do think that people listen, so it’s important to be participating in things like this.” 

Through the efforts both poured into this campaign, Mallory and Téa hope their actions unites the student-athlete population to bring them together in a time when the nation has become divided. 

“We are Americans and we are Aztecs,” Téa Adams said. “We should be proud of that, and we should be proud to be participating in these communities and we should want to push for change.”