The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

62° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Party raises voter awareness

    James Brooks, left, an entreneurship freshman, shakes hands with the pseudo-presidential candidates, Dan Fitzgibbon, right, a pre-business freshman, and Kyle Beard, center, a computer science freshman, at the UAVotes block party put on by the ASUA along University Blvd. Friday night.
    James Brooks, left, an entreneurship freshman, shakes hands with the pseudo-presidential candidates, Dan Fitzgibbon, right, a pre-business freshman, and Kyle Beard, center, a computer science freshman, at the UAVotes block party put on by the ASUA along University Blvd. Friday night.

    Friday night, the corner of University Boulevard and Tyndall Avenue became the site of a street-wide, tent-covered stage and the center of the ASUA UAVotes2008 block party.

    Booths from ASUA, the UA College Republicans, the Green Party, 101.3 KFMA, KHOT 98.8 and Crocs were set up around the stage, where state and national candidates and representatives spoke. Acts from the UA, MC Lars, Shop Boyz and Cartel played to large crowds into the evening.

    Across the street, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 had white tents set up, while Major League Baseball parked an MLB-painted semi-trailer on University. Both offered games, giveaways and merchandise.

    In the middle of it all, the red and blue signs for presidential nominees Barack Obama, John McCain and congressional nominees Tim Bee and Gabrielle Giffords, were black-shirted student volunteers armed with clipboards ready to register voters.

    “”I think it was a really great success. There was tons of entertainment and tons of opportunities to learn about politics,”” said Tommy Bruce, ASUA president. “”I think everybody enjoyed the concerts. And the other activities on the street were really awesome. And there were great crowds at all the locations that were showing the presidential debate. It went off really well. People were coming up to the table asking, ‘Can we get registered to vote?'””

    Bruce said they registered over 200 voters that night, getting ASUA closer to the goal of 5,000 voter registrations.

    “”Going into blitz week (which starts today) we’re a little over a thousand registrations which was exactly our target,”” Bruce said.

    “”From what I heard it was a good crowd, people were excited about getting out the youth vote,”” said Brittni Storrs, a political science junior and treasurer for the UA Young Democrats. “”I think anything that engages students in politics needs to happen as much as possible.””

    “”ASUA did a great job putting this on. I think that anyway we can reach out to young people and get them involved in the process is worthwhile,”” said Ry Ellison, a business management junior and president of the College Republicans. “”I thought it was a good event. I’m glad we were out there. I felt it was a good way for us to reach out to as many students as possible. We had a tent set up right next to the stage and we had a really good time.””

    Candidates and speakers, while campaigning for their causes, urged students and attendants to make a serious effort to get registered and vote.

    “”I think they would have a much better voter turn out if they (had events like) this every year,”” said Elena Ruiz, a public policy junior.

    Student turn out was right on target.

    “”Over the five hours we had easily over 5,000 people there. Not just in the main area because there were so many other things that we had going on the street last night,”” Bruce said.

    “”It’s important for (students) to understand that the one vote does matter, and that’s a really big thing that we’re trying to push and just trying to get people excited about the elections and knowledgeable about how to register to vote and what they’re voting on,”” he said.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search