College Dems, GOP aim to help students vote

In addition to campaigning for candidates, each group holds debates and registration drives.

Laura Glennon examines a list of people she will call on behalf of Temple College Democrats. Jenny Kerrigan | TTN
Laura Glennon examines a list of people she will call on behalf of Temple College Democrats. Jenny Kerrigan | TTN

In preparation for Election Day, Temple College Democrats and Temple College Republicans campaigned for their respective candidates and encouraged students to vote.

“People say they’ll go home to vote, but college students are busy [so we] try to get students registered on campus,” Shannon McLaughlin, president of Temple College Democrats said.

“It’s hard to get students involved,” McLaughlin said. “But there’s so many organizations that are focused on making a change.”

The Temple College Democrats and the Temple College Republicans both hold weekly meetings where students can discuss political issues.

The two organizations, which were featured on PHL17 last week to discuss the upcoming election, have also co-hosted a Free Food and Fun Friday where students could register to vote.

Temple College Democrats hold panels where students can attend, ask questions and network with the political professionals.

“College is the best time to become politically active,” Temple College Republicans Vice Chairman Travis Unger said. “You hear different viewpoints in classes [and] it sets you up for the future.”

“[Voting] holds people accountable for their actions,” Unger said. “And you gain experience for the future about whether or not you voted for the right person.”

Members of Temple College Republicans have traveled in groups to call centers to help in the campaign of Tom Corbett, the Republican candidate in the gubernatorial election. They also have gone door-to-door to speak with residents about the election and distribute literature about the political process.

“During election season, we always have candidates come in and speak,” Unger said. “We try to be as active on Facebook and Twitter as possible, reminding people to get out and vote.”

Past speakers include Armond James, congressional candidate for Pennsylvania, Ryan Capone, campaign manager for Dee Adcock, representatives from the Tom Corbett Campaign, and John Longacre, a representative from the College Republican National Committee. Temple College Republicans are also anticipating a visit from Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley.

Temple College Democrats received visits from State Rep. Jason Dawkins, running unopposed for the 179th district, and Helen Gym,  a proponent of education in Philadelphia.

With education funding a main issue in the election, both groups campaigned on the topic, specifically focusing on students in Philadelphia.

“[This] directly affects us as students,” McLaughlin said of the issue. “This will drive students to vote [because] it’s the most important and most quickly relatable.”

Both McLaughlin and Unger emphasized the importance of voting for the younger generations.

“It’s important to make the habit of voting early in life,” McLaughlin said. “Once you vote, you pay attention to the people you voted for.”

“Our voices will be more important and more heard,” Unger said of a scenario where more young people vote. “[We can] change issues that are important to us. If everyone voted, we’d be much better off; we’d have a society we want.”

Lian Parsons and on twitter @Lian_Parsons

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