One last chance to get out the vote

Nicole Stempak

Ivy Filbin, sophomore public communications major and College Democrats member, said she came for the free food and to support Sen. Barack Obama. She supported her candidate by wearing an Obama ’08 T-shirt and an Obama-Biden pin on the strap of her backpack.

Meanwhile, junior architecture major Cory Liston said he came for the free loot, atmosphere and cornhole.

Several hundred students stopped in Risman Plaza yesterday afternoon for free pizza, live music, enthusiastic speakers and rides to the polls.

Student organizations came together to give students 1 million reasons to vote today for Un1te ’08. The rally was a nonpartisan collaboration with All Campus Programming Board, Black United Students, College Democrats, Kappa Alpha Psi, Kent Political Union, Muslim Student Association, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Power Vote, PRIDE!Kent and Ohio Campaign for Change.

Dylan Sellers, historian for BUS and co-founder of the Un1ted ’08 coalition, said it was necessary to unite everyone.

“We decided we needed to unite our campus because, since BUS’s inception and after the May 4 shootings, the campus has been divided,” he said. “I think it’s very apparent on our campus that it’s unified. It’s given us all something to say ‘Hey, in spite of all of our differences, this is something that we have to (do).'”

DJ Rick Rucker from the Party Don’t Stop Entertainment said he volunteered his services to encourage registered students to vote if they have not already taken advantage of absentee voting.

“History dictates that young people have a tendency to register but don’t vote,” the 2005 alumnus said, adding he hopes yesterday’s event will help prove history wrong.

Adrianna Midamba, political affairs chair from BUS, said the rally’s purpose was to unite to get students to vote for whomever.

“We’re going to be celebrating the youth and our voice and using it as a vehicle for change,” she said.

Mike Brown, president of Kappa Alpha Psi, said the fraternity was first asked to participate through the Rock the Vote Campaign.

“The campaign asked us to do something like this for Ohio, because Ohio has such an impact on the whole election,” he said. “It’s just something that really needed to be done.”

Students weren’t the only people in attendance at yesterday’s rally. Both Greg Jarvie, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, and President Lester Lefton stepped out of their offices for a few minutes.

Jarvie said he came as the sound police to make sure all noise rules were being followed. Lefton said he came for the music and the chance to speak with students.

During one of the Speedbumps’ songs, Midamba and one of the Ohio Campaign for Change coordinators broke into an impromptu dance, celebrating the event.

Contact student politics reporter Nicole Stempak

at [email protected].