Many organizations at the University of Connecticut came together during this election season to encourage students to exercise their civic rights and to educate them on how to do so here at the university. UConn PIRG, the Rainbow Center, UConn College Democrats, the African American Cultural Center and the iCenter joined to form the Voting Coalition, which set up tables along Fairfield Way on Tuesday Nov. 8 to motivate students to vote and off them information. This is a display of UConn organizations working together to make a difference both for our community and for our nation, and they were enormously successful in their efforts.
The Voting Coalition event along Fairfield Way reached out to students passing by to talk about Election Day. They also gave out paraphernalia such as buttons and sunglasses while offering presidential fun facts and mad libs. These efforts made Election Day less stressful and incorporated fun into the process. They helped build spirits and get students excited about the matter.
The tables included UConn College Democrats as well as the non-partisan efforts of the Voting Coalition. UConn College Democrats helped voters by providing students with information about democratic candidates. This helped students feel more secure in voting if they had not yet researched for their vote.
Efforts of the UConn Community were not isolated to Election Day in their encouraging students to vote. In the period leading up to the election, there was a successful voter registration drive that lead to high numbers of registered voters in Mansfield. The town had never had more than 14,000 registered, but this year, approximately 15, 016 were registered before Election Day. On top of that, over 600 students took advantage of same day registration. The record high registration is likely to have led to record high voter turnout for the town.
Students at UConn should be proud of the organizations here that motivated and encouraged people to vote in the election. With the help of events like the tables on Fairfield Way and the voter registration drive, it is likely that a record number of people in Mansfield voted. Now that the election is over, it is important that students do not lose that motivation. UConn must continue to voice its opinion and stand up for what it believes is right.