Group 'rocks' to register student voters
For those about to rock the vote, organizations across campus salute you.
University student groups are working to register voters as the Tuesday deadline to register to vote for the gubernatorial race looms. Organizers of Rock the Vote are holding a 10-hour event at the steps of Brower Commons on the College Avenue campus Monday that includes live bands, free food, a comic group and tables to register to vote.
"The upcoming gubernatorial will directly affect this student population more than the presidential election," Head Organizer Jack Donggu Yoon said. "It doesn't matter who you vote for but that you do vote."
The event, which will begin at 12 p.m. and run until 10 p.m., will feature poetry by Verbal Mayhem and an improvisational comedy group. After 5 p.m., the bands will begin appearing, including The N Result, who won the Battle of the Bands last year, and Yoon's own band Shakedown, Inc. DJ LA.
"The goal of the event is to attract people and have them enjoy performances by various artists, and while they are there, if they haven't registered to vote they will be given the opportunity," said Yoon, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore.
The number of artists appearing may increase as Monday approaches but they will have enough material for 10 hours, he said.
Multiple groups including Yes We Can 2.0, New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, The Roosevelt Institute, Rutgers University Democrats, Rutgers Libertarians, Democracy Matters, Rutgers University Student Assembly, RU Voting, Asian Student Council and Alpha Phi Alpha are cosponsoring the event.
"The upcoming governor's race will be very close, and it will be important for young voters to come out," said Alex Holodak, RU Democrats president and School of Arts and Sciences senior. "If they only come out for presidential elections, our issues on a local level will not be addressed."
Most of the groups in the RU Voting Coalition are sponsoring the event, but they may get more sponsors before the event, Yoon said.
Yes We Can 2.0 has been active in registering voters throughout last month.
"Yes We Can 2.0's main purpose is to get the youth vote out by asking students to vote by mail," group organizer Katie Hubschmitt said. "It's the only way to guarantee that young people will have their voice heard."
They will be supplying vote by mail applications and assisting students in voter registrations, she said.
"We're going to help students apply for a vote by mail ballot, so they can vote here at the school on their own time or without the hassle of going to the polls," said Hubschmitt, a School of Arts and Sciences senior. "It's important for students to vote in this election because last election we turned out in massive numbers. Now, we want to prove that young people are an important voting block in this country, which will force politicians to pay attention to us."
Rock the Vote will bring the importance of voting to students, said President of the Roosevelt Institute Lonnie Affrime.
"If we want New Jersey to pay more attention to higher education, Pell Grants and lowering tuition rates, that will only happen if we make our voices heard through our vote," said Affrime, a School of Arts and Sciences senior.