Students lead voter registration drive on campus

A collective of Northeastern student groups is partnering this fall to promote a simple yet powerful message to its peers: no matter who you vote for, make sure you vote.

The Student Government Association is spearheading a non-partisan voter registration and turnout drive ahead of Election Day this November. The effort to increase civic engagement on campus was part of Elliot Horen’s campaign platform when he ran for SGA president in the spring. According to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, in 2012 less than half of millennials eligible to vote say they actually voted.

“Millennials have some of the lowest voter turnout of any demographic group,” Horen, CIS’18, noted, “and all of these student groups at Northeastern are trying to change that. I think a lot about this election season is turning people off of politics, but we believe more engagement is the antidote.”

Called Northeastern Votes, a primary focus of this initiative is setting up voter registration tables for students around campus. This week, through Thursday, a table will be set up in the Curry Student Center next to the bookstore. Even if students are not from Massachusetts, they can choose to register to vote in the Bay State, Horen said.

In addition to an aggressive voter registration effort, various events are planned throughout the fall to get students enthused about Election Day, including a viewing party on Sept. 26, at 9 p.m. in Blackman Auditorium for the first presidential debate.

Other events include a “West Wing night” on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m., where the first two episodes of The West Wing will be screened on Centennial Common. Acting Out, the student theater group, will host a political sketch event on Oct. 12 at 8 p.m. in afterHOURS. There will also be a voter information fair on Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. on Centennial Common.

The student groups have also set up an account with Turbo Vote where students can register online to vote and stay up-to-date on election information.

Joining SGA in this endeavor are Northeastern University Marketing Association; Generation Citizen; Resident Student Association; Interfraternity Council; Panhellenic Council; Acting Out; Northeastern College Republicans; Northeastern College Democrats; Northeastern Political Review; Political Science and International Affairs Student Association; Northeastern Sexual Health Advocacy, Resources, and Education; Student Alumni Association; National Residence Hall Honorary; Delta Tau Delta; Sigma Phi Epsilon; and Delta Phi Epsilon.

“This is a non-partisan initiative and spans politically active groups and socially minded groups,” Horen explained.