Aztecs rock campus voting registration

by Elisse Miller

Antonio Zaragoza, Editor in Chief

San Diego State registered more new voters this fall than any other CSU with 4,413 students registering through the Rock the Vote campaign. Each CSU campus aimed to register at least 10 percent of its student body in a voter drive sponsored by the California State Student Association.

The Rock the Vote effort was prominent on campus, with volunteers registering students almost daily and reminding them of the large potential for change this November’s election holds.

“The reason we have things like budget cuts and tuition hikes is because people our age tend not to vote very much, so our interests aren’t heard,” Associated Students Vice President of External Affairs Tom Rivera said.

“People think we don’t vote, so we must not care what our situation is, but the truth is that it’s the exact opposite—students care very much, but they just never necessarily knew how to use the power they actually have. It’s important that students are engaged and they know what’s actually affecting them.”

Throughout the CSU, 31,372 students registered to vote in California. While SDSU led the charge, San Francisco State, CSU Chico, Humboldt State, Cal Maritime Academy, CSU San Marcos and Sonoma State also registered more than 10 percent of their student bodies.

“This shows that CSU students are committed to protecting our state’s system of higher education by voting for Proposition 30 and voting for candidates that support the CSU,” CSSA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Pedro Ramirez said.

Rivera pointed to social media and Internet usage as important tools for registering college students.

The ability to register online played a major role in student voter turnout. In fact, 1,400 students registered online.

“We could blast it out in emails and messages and on Facebook and Twitter, so people could just click a link and register to vote right there when they were at home,” Rivera said. “We also had the Rock the Vote video, which got a lot of positive feedback.”

Change may be in the horizon as students’ political awareness increases.

“We’ve dealt with budget cuts and a lot of problems with the CSU and we have been taking hits,” Rivera said, “So I think finally people are trying to be engaged when they realize the kind of power that everyone can quickly have as students.”