Kansas State Campus Groups Strive To Register New Voters

This story was written by Tyler Sharp, Kansas State Collegian


Their motives might be different, but Kansas State University groups such as Student Governing Association and greek chapters have united their efforts to register students for the Nov. 4 general election.

When you get more than one voter registered, its phenomenal, said Doug Shane, sophomore in animal science and industry and president of College Republicans. Its something the organizations involved and the university should be proud of that weve gotten this many people involved in politics.

Several organizations, including College Republicans, Young Democrats, Students for Barack Obama and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. began operating voter registration booths in the K-State Student Union last week and are continuing efforts this week.

Mark Andre, junior in architecture and co-chair for K-State Students for Barack Obama, said the group has been working closely with the local office of the Kansas Democratic Party to register voters.

I think this election will be a great opportunity for 18-25-year-olds to speak their collective voice, he said.

The College Republicans have considered registering voters in the Bosco Student Plaza with the Union Program Council, according to Shane.

Katie Beye, senior in political science and director of state governmental relations for SGA, is leading SGAs efforts to register voters in greek houses and residence halls. Beye said the increased number of organizations registering voters has proven to be successful.

Rachel Doyle, senior in political science and vice president of membership development for Pi Beta Phi, said she wanted to help her sorority find the necessary forms and information for voter registration and to educate them about the candidates.

Its so easy to feel like you are not connected to the outside world in college, she said. But this is an easy way to remind them there is a lot going on in the election in the next few months.

Doyle said the sorority is also hosting presidential debate watch parties.

Alpha Phi Alpha is coordinating A Voteless People is a Hopeless People, a continuous voter registration and political awareness drive, said Sam Lewis, junior in political science and director of educational activities for the fraternity. The Young Democrats and College Republicans have also assisted with the program.

I am looking at things from an Afro-American standpoint, Lewis said. Many of our ancestors were slaves that could not vote... Your vote is your voice in this process.

Volunteer opportunities are available for those wanting to help with voter registration, said Tyler Longpine, 2nd District Field Director for the Kansas Democratic Party.
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