Getting out the vote on Constitution day

September 24, 2008
Filed under College News, News

VALENCIA ORGANIZATIONS TEAM UP TO GET STUDENTS VOTING

By Shaneece Dixon
Valencia Voice

With the upcoming presidential election coming up, Valencia is doing its part to get students motivated to vote in this historic election, especially since the lowest voter turnout has been from young adults aged 18-24 years of age.

Attendees of the Constitution Day event were entertained with a balloon artist, food, debates, and a movie.

That job was left up to Student Development and SGA West Campus with Constitution Day.

Many students came together on September 17th on the SSB Patio at West Campus, registering to vote and stating their opinions on the issues.

“It’s important for us to think about the Constitution because the presidential election is coming up,” said Jenny Lee, who is the Valencia Volunteer Coordinator, “We need students to be excited for this historic event.”

Members of SGA were handing out copies of the Constitution to students while Phi Theta Kappa members were trying to get as many students as possible to register to vote.

T.J. Cole, president of SGA West Campus urged students to register as well.

“The purpose of Constitution Day is to spread awareness about the Constitution, while we increase our involvement on campus while promoting that students know more about the issues at hand,” said Cole,
“Plus it gives SGA another chance to mingle with students.”

As PTK members were registering people to vote, there were other agendas in mind, such as Fairness for all Families, which is an organization seeking to let all people keep their health care, and banning Amendment 2 in the Florida state constitution.

Many Floridans are already going against the passing of this amendment. Though it doesn’t do anything against legal, heterosexual marriages, it does ban legal domestic partnerships, which causes partners to lose
many, if not all their benefits.

“With Amendment 2, people lose out on health care benefits and hospital visitation rights,” said Katie Farney, president of Phi Theta Kappa West Campus.

In fact, several students and even faculty members were really riled up about talking about the issues.

What appears to be among the biggest concerns is the actual interpretation of the Constitution.

Whoever will be the next President of the United States will most likely nominate new justices for the Supreme Court, who make interpretations off of the Constitution to implement decisions in court cases.

These interpretations could affects decisions based on issues such as abortion and gay rights.

“The president should know what our forefathers meant when they wrote the Constitution,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, who supports strict interpretation of the revered document.

Some students, however, already knew who they were voting for and were very excited for the upcoming election. “We need a fresh face for politics,” said Matt Bradley, “It’s been the same people running for president.”

Alongside Bradley was Castkra Demosthene, who supports Obama for his views on health care and ending the war in Iraq.

“It’s time for a change. We’re tired of high gas prices and a falling economy. It doesn’t help that a lot of Americans are unemployed right now,” Demosthene said.

The biggest economic issue that has Americans at an uproar is the current financial crisis in Wall Streets, where banks such as AIG and Merrill-Lynch are trillions of dollars in debt. Lou Marasco is one of those concerned Americans.

“This election is very important due to the economic situation. Too many people are given mortgages just so the mortgage companies make a profit,” Marasco said.

Constitution Day is just one of those reminders of how effective and substantial it is not to just vote in this coming election, but to be an active voter in America.

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