As you walk down the Haley concourse, it is not unusual to see students from various political organizations handing out fliers, stickers or candy in order to get students involved in their clubs But, what is unusual, is a group of them all sitting together. For two weeks in February, the sisters of Omega Phi Alpha, the College Democrats, the College Republicans, the Young Americans for Liberty and the Student Government Association (SGA) all joined forces and worked together to help students register to vote. Their slogan, “No matter the Party, let your voice be heard”, seemed to resonate with students.
“I loved seeing everyone working together for such a great cause because it is imperative that college students vote in order for our generation’s opinion to be represented in our government,” said junior Meredith Smith. “I think students are sometimes apathetic about voting because they don’t understand the political process or feel that their vote doesn’t make a difference, so I was happy to see those students passionate about government work together to encourage others to participate and vote.”
The students sat together at a table every day and collected voter registration forms as well as absentee ballots. They even took the forms to the county registrar office. In the first two days of having the voter registration the students were able to register over 100 students.
“SGA tried to set up the dialogue between the different groups and handle the logistics. Omega Phi Alpha took the lead on volunteers, and the other political groups were able to get the word out and generate interest and other volunteers,” said Michael Bullington, Assistant Vice President of External Affairs for the Student Government Association. “SGA’s mission is to serve and promote the individual student, and to unify all that is Auburn. By bringing four distinct groups together to try to help students let their voices be heard, we hope to have adhered to that mission.”
Aside from just helping students register to vote, this drive worked as a way to showcase the different organizations on campus that students could be involved in. Students were able to have a dialogue with members of all of the political organizations on campus in order to find out where they fit in.
“My favorite part was the interaction among members of different political affiliations and ideologies at the volunteer table,” said Calvin Wilborn, President of the College Democrats. “It provided a great opportunity for students to socialize and talk who otherwise might not.”
Although this project was about helping students find their voice in the political process by registering them to vote, it proved to be so much more. This University thrives when students work together and share ideas and by working together the leadership of all of the organizations involved did just that. By these organizations coming together they showed what it truly means to be an Auburn student.