Letter to the Editor: RMU students need to register to vote

Politicians frequently tell their supporters that “every vote counts,” but, rationally speaking, it can be hard to believe. Plenty of other people vote, we tell ourselves — it’s not like there’s going to be a tie and my vote will change the outcome.

But what if I told you that in the most recent Moon Township Supervisor race, the election was won by 36 votes? Thirty-six. Fewer people than on the RMU football team, fewer than in some of your classes. Far fewer than the number of students who live on campus, nearly 2,000, not to mention the many more who live in an off-campus housing in Moon.

Over the past several years, this campus has experienced tremendous growth. Since 2011, we have opened two new academic buildings, a new residence hall on campus, and converted the former Pittsburgh Airport Area Holiday Inn into the Yorktown Hall, which houses 500 students and includes a fitness center and cafe.

Much of this growth has hinged on our positive relationship with Moon Township and its elected officials. The township approves plans for major construction projects and created a new zoning district to allow Robert Morris to convert that hotel into a residence hall. What happens in Moon Township matters to Robert Morris University, and the people who govern the township impact the lives of its students.

That is why it is so important for the students who live on campus — or anywhere in Moon — to register to vote here in Moon Township. The government in Moon Township does not just influence what happens on campus. It has a say over the types of businesses that open along University Boulevard, pedestrian and traffic safety, and recreational amenities that impact all residents — including RMU students, faculty, and staff.

Moon Township is your home for four years. You should have a say in what happens here, and the best way to do that is to register to vote — and then show up on Election Day.

Register to vote at http://www.rockthevote.com/. The deadline to register and still vote in the Nov. 4 election is Monday, Oct. 6. The next election involving the Moon Township Board of Supervisors takes place May 19, 2015.

Editor’s Note – Jonathan Potts is Senior Director, Public Relations for Robert Morris University.