Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz came tothe University of ConnecticutTuesday to talk about the importance of involvement in the political system, and to discuss any areas of concern among leaders at UConn.
During the event, which was held at the Women's Center, students asked Bysiewicz questions on how to get more funding for Youth and Government programs, how Connecticut determines programs receive what funding and the ever -persistent myth of whether or not absentee ballots are counted. To put this myth to rest, every single ballot is counted.
"Anything that comes in before 8 p.m. on Election Day must be counted," Bysiewicz said. "You can call to make sure they received your absentee ballot and ask when it was counted."
The meeting room in the Women's Center resembled more of a discussion room with tables arranged in circles so everyone was visible and able to hear what was being said.
"It was very informative and I really liked the relaxed atmosphere," said Julie Amenta, a 7-th semester communication sciences major.
The discussion focused on concerns of the students and they were able to highlight any particular areas of concern.
"I like how she [Bysiewicz] said it was time for her to stop talking and start answering our questions," said Ryan Brown, a 3rd-semester computer engineering major. "It was more about our questions rather than her talking."
The room was filled with student leaders at UConn coming from all different backgrounds, with various realms of experience.
"It was interesting to hear the different perspectives of areas in which the students were involved," Bysiewicz said. "Some helped register voters, were active participants in youth of government, involved in advocacy, and non-profit organizations. It was very representative of the different ways of involvement."
With our ever-changing world, the involvement of young people in the government is very crucial. Youth involvement seems to be a large goal of both political parties and it is no secret that the way in which the government is run lies in the people-especially the future generations.
"One challenge is how to continue the unprecedented interest in government participation," Bysiewicz said. "Usually the national elections have the biggest turnout, and we hope it will trickle down to the state and local level."
Efforts were made on campus to advertise the discussion to student leaders. Amenta heard about the event through her media director, whereas Brown was informed about it by his community outreach supervisor.
Bysiewicz's visit to UConn and her discussion with the students brought students together with different experiences in leadership to discuss their questions about the government or anything they wanted to ask her. The atmosphere was relaxed, and students were not hesitant to pose their questions or state their comments.