Drexel U. Organizations Register 1,950 Voters

This story was written by Stephanie Takach, The Triangle
The Drexel University Democrats, working with Drexel Votes 2008, turned in 1,950 Pennsylvania voter registration forms thus far since September of 2007, according to Sean Miller, president of the Drexel Democrats.

This, however, doesn't include forms that students may have turned in themselves or the drives run by the College Republicans.

Miller said that Drexel is currently one of the top five universities with the most new registered voters in Pennsylvania, according to the Obama campaign.

Drexel is ahead of most colleges in that they have formed a committee to lead the efforts, according to Miller.

Drexel Votes 2008 was the idea of Dick Levinson, a spokesperson for Hagerty Library, and is a coalition between politically engaged students, faculty and administrators, according to Jane Bryan, Director of Libraries and co-chair of Drexel Votes 2008.

"Most of what Drexel Votes did was through the Drexel Democrats and the College Republicans," Bryan said. "It's the students that have led the charge," she added.

Both student groups helped organize the Super Tuesday Watch Party, hosted registration drives and addressed some of the myths that students believe about registration, such as losing financial aid, Bryan said.

The Drexel Democrats went "Dorm Storming" during which they went door to door in the residence halls asking students if they were registered to vote, according to Bryan.

"[Drexel Votes 2008] shows it's not just the Drexel Democrats, it's the librarians, professors and administrators all working for a common goal," Miller said.

"I'm excited because there's so many different parts of Drexel all supporting each other," Bryan said.

The goal of Drexel Votes 2008 was to increase voter participation because the general sense was that Drexel students were not passionately engaged, and the issues in this election should speak to students, according to Bryan.

There are many events in the works for the future of Drexel Votes as well, according to Miller.

During the primary election on April 22, Drexel Votes is working to have live-streamed video of the results show for a watch party later that night, according to Miller. There will also be e-mail distributions, posters hung around campus, and T-shirts worn by faculty and students to remind them when and where to vote.

"I think it certainly has been a successful coalition," Bryan said. According to Bryan, Drexel is becoming more realistic by addressing the election through Drexel Votes.

"I think this gives a sense that there's some student active involvement in civic enterprise," Bryan said.
© 2008 The Triangle via U-WIRE