UConnPIRG is hosting a voters information session on Oct. 23 to raise awareness on the importance of voting.
The event will be held in the Family Studies Building room 216 from 6 to 7 p.m. and is open to all students.
“The new voters project is one of the primary campaigns UConnPIRG has and our goal is to register as many students as we can to vote, even though it is not an election year,” said Dea Ballij, UConnPIRG Civic Engagement Coordinator and eighth semester political science and economics major. “We still want people to vote in town elections or municipal elections because they matter too.”
Political science professor Thomas Hayes will be speaking at the event and answering student questions.
“Professor Hayes will present on the impact of voting, why young people especially should be encouraged to vote and the issues that impact our society in general,” Ballij said. “After that, we have a question and answer session where students can engage with the professor and their peers to learn more about the importance of voting and its impact.”
The UConnPIRG team will also be registering students to vote who are not already registered.
“There will also be a registration table where students who are not registered to vote could register that night, and we will provide all the papers needed,” Ballij said.
For students that cannot attend the new voters event, there are other ways to register on campus.
“They can go to the undergraduate student government office in the student union and there they can help students register to vote,” Ballij said.
UConnPIRG is a nonpartisan office that strives to get students actively involved in society and to provide the resources to do so, Ballij said.
“Since we are a nonpartisan office we provide people with the information needed in order to form an opinion about how to register or who to vote for but we do not give any advice to them to avoid bias,” Ballij said.
Ballij wants young voters to understand the impact of their vote.
“I brought up the idea of holding this event, even though PIRG has done multiple registration events in the past, because I think voting is important and I think a lot of young people don’t vote because they feel discouraged to vote,” Ballij said. “I wanted to create a session that would influence them about why their vote matters and why they should get out there and participate. I think that voting impacts everyone and that everyone should be involved because in a way it is a civic duty to vote so that’s what inspired it.”
More registration events will happen in the coming semesters, but dates have not yet been determined.
“We will definitely be planning to have more information sessions, especially next semester and maybe even the following semester because of the presidential election, but PIRG does a lot to engage people to vote and be involved in politics and social change so there will be more events in the future,” Ballij said. “I think that voting impacts everyone and that everyone should be involved because in a way it is a civic duty to vote so that’s what inspired it.”
Naiela Suleiman is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.