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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Students must raise voices in local, national elections”

    Every year students at the UA strive to keep tuition low, to make the college experience as affordable as possible and to increase the amount of financial aid that is allocated amidst a whole myriad of other priorities.

    These conversations are always an uphill battle with elected officials in the state of Arizona and Washington, D.C., because the response is consistent in saying: “”Students do not vote, I have other constituents who do vote that I need to work with their needs first.””

    This year ASUA – your student government – in collaboration with the Arizona Students’ Association and Arizona Public Interest Research Groups are leading the UAVOTES2008 campaign in order to get students at the UA registered, educated and mobilized for the 2008 election.

    This is the defining election of our generation and a turning point in American politics. On Nov. 4, no matter how this election ends up, the face of our country will be changed forever. Don’t allow your voice to be silenced in a decision that will affect your future.

    It does not matter who you vote for, what your beliefs are or how you go about expressing yourself. What matters is that you, as a student at the UA and more importantly, as a citizen of the United States of America, exercise your right to vote in the 2008 presidential election.

    You must first register to vote. The UAVOTES2008 campaign is out in full force to get students registered to vote. If you cannot find members of the campaign out on campus, you can always go to asua.arizona.edu or come to the ASUA Office on the third floor of the Student Union Memorial Center, to register to vote.

    The registration deadline for the state of Arizona is Oct. 6; you must be registered by Oct. 6 in order to vote.

    Next step: Educate yourself on the issues that you will be voting on. It is important to register in order to have the ability to vote, but it is vital to educate yourself in order to be a responsible voter. It does not matter how you cast your vote, it does matter that you are aware of what you are voting on and what the implications of that vote could mean for your life.

    UAVOTES2008 will provide a variety of events and information to allow students to get educated to vote including this past weekend’s Congressional District 8 Debate and the UAVOTES2008 block party on Sept. 26.

    Finally, you must mobilize yourself! There is no point in getting registered and educated if you do not get out there and vote!

    There will be early polling stations available in the ASUA conference room for the month of October. Anyone who is registered in Pima County can come to the office from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and cast your ballot early for the 2008 general election. In addition to the early polling station in the ASUA office, voter shuttles will be available on the day of elections as well as vote-by-mail materials through the ASUA office.

    The UAVOTES2008 campaign is not about any candidate or initiative in particular. It is about ensuring that each and every member of the UA student community becomes an active, voting member of society.

    Do not take for granted the right that has been fought for and given to you to ensure that our society allows voices to be heard.

    The next time the students of the UA are fighting to get increased funds for financial aid or improvements to the university campus, let’s have officials who were actually elected by the UA student body and who are well aware of the power of the student voice.

    If you would like to join the UAVOTES2008 campaign, all volunteers are welcomed. You can join us for our kick-off meeting Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Tucson and Catalina rooms of the student union. You can also e-mail the Associated Students’ Association e-mail address to get involved – asa@email.arizona.edu. Bear Down and vote!

    – Tommy Bruce is the president of Associated Students of the University of Arizona. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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