USS pushes ‘one Kent’ campaign

Sara Macho

John McConnell, senator for governmental affairs, looks on as Joshua Bragg, freshman aeronautics major, registers to vote Friday in Small Group.

Credit: Jason Hall

It only takes a minute, but many people may not be able to find the time.

All that’s needed is a pen and a basic knowledge of personal information such as first and last name, place of residence and birth date.

But voter registration is not that easy for some people.

“Students don’t realize how much of a role politics play in their life,” said Governmental Affairs Senator John McConnell.

McConnell teamed up with Academic Affairs Senator Karli Chaboudy and Community Affairs Senator Ross Miltner Friday to host another voter registration drive. The drive was aimed especially at freshman living in the Small Group residence halls.

In a two-hour time span, only two students approached the registration table without being persuaded by the shouts of encouragement from the senators. After almost four hours, the senators registered 26 freshmen by approaching students face-to-face.

“I think students are preoccupied with other things,” said Vernon Sykes, director of the Columbus Program in Intergovernmental Issues and assistant professor of political science. “They have so many other things going on in their lives like going to classes, studying and socializing.”

And some students may use that as an excuse not to vote.

“I don’t really care about politics,” said Amber Petrosky, freshman interior design major. “I’ve got more things to do than deal with politics and the crazy stuff that goes on all the time.”

According to a pamphlet passed out by USS called “Your Ideas Count! Representative Democracy and You,” there have been many legislative achievements that go seemingly unnoticed by individuals. These laws include federal and state funding to support highway transportation, regulation of financial institutions such as banks and the posting of business licenses.

This semester, USS has adopted two mottos to encourage students to vote in Kent. These mottos, “Live Here, Vote Here” and “Kent State Students = Kent City Citizens,” are especially designed to help students be aware of their impact in the community.

“Students are here for nine months out of the year for four years,” McConnell said. “It’s good to become involved.”

He said he feels there is a divide among the city of Kent and the campus.

But this divide may disappear after the Nov. 8 election for Kent City Council.

Justin Jeffery, president of Kent Interhall Council, is running for city councilman of Ward 4. Jeffery supports the “one Kent” concept that erases the division of the city and the university, McConnell said.

McConnell said he strongly upholds the Jeffrey campaign because the candidate wants students to realize there are people their age who are politically active.

USS plans to organize van pick-up points at certain campus locations. The vans will transport students to the polls.

McConnell will host another voter registration drive this week in Eastway. The date is not yet set.

Contact student politics reporter Sara Macho at [email protected].