The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

RMU pushes students to the booths

Tori Flick
Photo credit: Tori Flick

As Nov. 8th quickly nears, Robert Morris University is encouraging all students to take part in the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election and the first step is registering to vote.

Two people that have taken the lead in doing so are Sue Jamison, an adjunct professor of sociology, and Donna Anderson, director of the Office of Civic Student Engagement, along with the help of many other RMU faculty members and recruited members of the student body.

“If you register to vote it does something to you inside,” said Jamison in response to her belief that all students should register to vote.

As of this year, many RMU organizations got together to hold student voter registration drives every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Nicholson Center for easy access to students in between classes. This semester, there have been five drives so far, allowing over 100 students to register, and two upcoming drives leading right up to the cut off date, taking place on Sept. 28 and Oct. 5.

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Students registered under their home addresses are encouraged to submit a change of address to their RMU address and box number. RMU will be shuttling registered students to Moon Area High School to vote on election day. Another place to register to vote or fill out an absentee ballot is the Rock the Vote website.

“I know our democracy isn’t perfect, but if people don’t vote it’s only going to get worse,” said Anthony Moretti, Ph.D., associate professor of communication, about his stance on student voting.

Moretti is also helping students register vote and believes that students’ voices are very important in the upcoming election.

“Student votes are vital,” said Moretti. “The goal being to find students, expose them to voting and give those who do want to vote an avenue to do so.”

According to CNBC, in 2008, 44 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted, the least out of all the age demographics. In the 2012 election, only 38 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted, again, the least out of all the age demographics. These decreasing numbers show that the nation’s youngest aren’t voting.

“We often say, ‘Hey, are you registered to vote?’ and some will say ‘No, I’m not voting in this election,’” said Megan DeArmit, student Political Science Club and College Democrats member about the quick exchanges with students while manning the registration table on Wednesdays.

“Within the younger age bracket of voters, most often believe their vote doesn’t matter. Politicians do not try to appeal to them or even care about them,” said Moretti.

Registering to vote also gives students the option to vote in not only the national level elections but local and statewide elections as well that may leave them feeling more useful.

“Why people don’t vote is perplexing to me,” said Moretti. “You’re basically saying I have no role in this country.”

This will be the first time that the millennial generation is voting in a presidential election. Students, such as DeArmit, are looking for their voices to be heard on campus and professors agree.

“This election especially, our voices need to be heard,” said DeArmit.

“One of the most powerful tools Americans have as a public is having a say in who we want to represent them,” said Moretti. “But Democracy is only as strong as the number of people who support it.”

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