Pacific Organizations Encourage Students to Vote
By: Ramneet Jande
For a number of students at Pacific, the 2020 election will be the first time casting a vote in a presidential election. Issues such as healthcare, social justice, and climate policy are hot topics across the spectrum and are fueling young people to the polls across the country. To encourage student voter turnout, various organizations such as ASuop, Pacific Athletics, and PacAve Records are using a variety of techniques to educate students and urge them to vote.
Launched by The Associated Students of the University of the Pacific (ASuop), Pacific to the Polls is a collaboration with the Pacific Volunteer Center and Pacific Athletics. Its primary purpose is to increase voter registration and to serve as an education initiative. Using Instagram as a medium, the Pacific to the Polls initiative has events, infographics, and giveaways which Pacific Athletics helps with hosting. ASuop hopes that with better voter education there will also be more voter turnout. Randi Holguin, ASuop’s president and Business Administration 21’, writes that “As college students, this is a part of the educational journey, to become informed and get involved in making a difference with knowledge. It’s important that ASuop provides students with proper education, so that they can make a confident vote whichever way they choose to vote.” Additionally, Pacific Volunteer Center is aiding voter education by providing information about various propositions being passed, reminding people to vote and of upcoming voter deadlines, and having volunteers make videos about how to vote in their area.
Another Pacific program, PacAve Records, a student run record label, is collaborating with #iVoted Concerts, whose goal is to increase voter turnout. In order to RSVP for a concert on Election Night, students can sign up with their Pacific email and take a selfie with a blank voting ballot or their local polling place and send it to the link in Pac Ave’s Instagram bio. Over 400 plus artists are performing that night, making it perhaps the largest digital musical festival in history. “We were looking to inspire fellow Pacificans and to introduce them to new music that they probably wouldn’t have discovered without the concert,” says Renee Jesse Bagus, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for PacAve and Music Industries Studies, 21’.
PacAve Records initially got the idea to lead a voting initiative after doing research with the university’s library and finding out that Pacific alumni Dennis Ward led a nationwide campaign to change the voting age from 21 to 18. Ward’s movement called Let Us Vote inspired PacAve to help increase voter turnout.
As for the success of the campaign, Bagus mentions that students have been actively making submissions into the contest. “We have been tracking the interactions with IVoted and it has jumped up in the past couple days. We are hoping it spikes in the next couple days leading up to the election,” adds Bagus.
As election day approaches, student organizations hope to have encourged students to have performed their civic duty by voting in the election.