Voting on campus linked to student-run initiatives

Siobhan Murray
Senior Writer

University students “Rocked the Vote” on Nov. 6 at two on-campus voting locations, Larrison Dining Hall and the Weis Center for the Performing Arts.

Bucknell Student Government’s (BSG) Rock the Vote student voter registration contest, along with other campus initiatives, such as campus radio WVBU’s election night coverage and Monday night’s student debate, all sought to cover the issues leading up to the national election and increase student voter turnout.

Rock the Vote pitted each class year against one another to see who could get the most students to register to vote.

The Class of 2016 won the contest by registering 213 voters. Students in the winning class will receive a 20 percent off coupon for the Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

Behind the winning class, the Class of 2015 registered 169 student voters; the Class of 2014 registered 143 voters and the Class of 2013 registered 128 voters.

As Pennsylvania college students, students could have either chosen to either register to vote in Union County and voted in person at one of the designated polling places, or students could have registered using their current permanent home address via an absentee ballot.

Some students had to travel to off-campus locations to vote, depending what district their address was in.

David Blaides ’15, who lives on Saint George Street, found out upon arriving at Larrison Hall that he would have to cast his ballot at the nearby Lewisburg Court House.

“I didn’t really mind, but I wish I had known beforehand. I think that they did a good job of promoting voting early on, though, and as a non-Pennsylvania resident, I knew I had to be more aware of the campus voting opportunities. I appreciated the Rock the Vote initiative and things like the presidential student debate because it allows students to really learn about the issues before they vote,” Blaides said.

WVBU’s election night event, which took place at the Bison and featured live debates, discussion, entertainment and video elements, began at 7 p.m. and was simulcast via 90.5 FM and WVBU’s web stream at www.wvbu.com.

“I have been encouraged to see that many Bucknell students have been engaged in this year’s campaign, and I think it’s great that WVBU is going to provide a campus venue for information about the national election results as they unfold next week,” Scott Meinke, associate professor of political science, said.

These efforts resulted in another successful year for students casting ballots and exercising their right to choose.

“I think that, in general, college kids don’t vote enough, but there was a definite effort to get out the vote on campus,” Carolyn McPhee ’15 said.

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