Countering voter apathy

Sara Macho

USS teams up with senator to register students

John McConnell, junior political science major, talks with State Senator Kevin Coughlin in front of the M.A.C. Center. Coughlin visited Kent State yesterday to encourage voter registration among students.

Credit: Jason Hall

State Sen. Kevin Coughlin and Undergraduate Student Senators met with students yesterday in front of the M.A.C. Center and in classrooms to encourage voter registration.

State Rep. Kathleen Chandler will join students at noon tomorrow in front of the M.A.C. Center.

Governmental Affairs Senator John McConnell and Executive Director Bill Ross called out to students passing by, encouraging them to register. Justin Jeffery, president of Kent Interhall Council and candidate for Kent City Council, also volunteered his time yesterday in front of the M.A.C. Center.

In the first hour, 25 students had registered. McConnell, who hopes to register 150 students by tomorrow afternoon, is promoting his Voter Registration Drive, a program aimed at unregistered voters.

McConnell said he feels voter apathy in the college age group is a big problem. To resolve this problem, Undergraduate Student Senate is focusing on the freshman class. Senators passed out voter registration forms to many freshman orientation classes.

Several freshman visited the registration table yesterday, Ross said.

“Your vote does count, especially at the local level,” Coughlin said. “A lot of the time, the outcome of an election is determined by a single vote or a handful of votes.”

As part of his visit to Kent State, Coughlin visited classrooms in Bowman Hall. He spoke on issues such as college tuition and natural disaster recovery plans.

Coughlin also touched on natural disaster plans in Ohio, saying such systems in Ohio are very strong.

Though there is a potential threat of a national epidemic in years to come, it can be treated quickly, he said. Money coming in from Washington, D.C. since the 9/11 terrorist attacks will help prevent any lack in hospital space.

Students still looking to register to vote can meet with State Representative Kathleen Chandler and Governmental Affairs Senator John McConnell from noon to 3 p.m. tomorrow in front of the M.A.C. Center.

Voter registration forms can also be picked up in the USS office located on the first floor of the Student Center and in the university library.

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