Lobby Corps organized fair to increase campus voter registration

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(Image courtesy of Michael Mahi)
ASI Lobby Corps, alongside Tuffy the Titan, handed out free pizza to students who registered to vote at their fair on Monday. (Courtesy of Michael Mahi)

Monday was the last day to register to vote, and ASI Lobby Corps organized a fair with the OC Registrar to remind students about it.

The event was originally set to take place in Cal State Fullerton’s central Quad, but due to the rain Monday morning it was moved to the newly renovated Titan Student Union. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., free food and drinks were available to the students along with games and puppies.

Among the guests on campus were Sharon Quirk-Silva, who is running for the California State Assembly in District 65, Fullerton Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald and other members of the Fullerton City Council.

“I think that it was a lot of fun. I think that just, the energy with multiple, local candidates and others walking around … (was) a lot of really good energy,” Quirk-Silva said.

Saba Ansari, a second-year chemistry major and the Strategic Communications coordinator for Lobby Corps, said she felt the event went really well overall.

“I think students really appreciate the opportunity to be able to interact with people who are running as opposed to just having it be another name on the ballot,” Ansari said.

When speaking about voting and being engaged in the community at a campaign event last Thursday, Fitzgerald quoted Roberto Clemente, a legendary baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“(Clemente) said ‘if you’re not doing something to make your life better for someone, then you’re wasting your time on Earth,’” Fitzgerald said.

The Fullerton Mayor said that everyone has the opportunity to make a change for someone.

The outreach on Cal State Fullerton’s campus has doubled down in its effort to engage students in the remaining days before the election.

“We also had puppies and free food, so the students were happy,” Ansari said.

The goal of the event, according to the ASI Lobby Corps flyer, was to register 10 percent of the student population.

“We advocate for the students, we educate students and we engage them with what’s going on in regards to elections in local, state and federal governments,” Ansari said.

While the day was successful for ASI Lobby Corps, there was still an apparent tension with many students who wanted nothing to do with the voting process.

“I think that some of (the students) seemed a little bit tired of all the politics, but most … smiled and said that they had registered,” Quirk-Silva said. “There were some that said they hadn’t, and they took our information.”

Ansari said that a lot of students don’t realize they don’t have to vote on the two presidential candidates.

“I feel like a lot of people in regards to this election are scared,” Ansari said.

Lobby Corps is pushing hesitant students to at least get involved so they can vote on the ballot propositions.

Ansari also said that it is far more important to vote locally, because local elections impact students more than the major election will.

While there are plenty ways to reach out and learn more about local elections, along with the 17 propositions in California, some students still feel a disconnect with the campus on the issue.

Ariana Ruiz, human services major third-year transfer student, did not get a chance to check out the event, and said she felt that more promoting could’ve been done to let students know about the event.

The major election has been promoted to the point where even ASI Lobby Corps and students notice the reluctance to vote brought about by the election.

“I guess people just don’t like the options available,” Ruiz said.

While Ruiz did not attend the event on campus, she is registered to vote.

The last panel in a series of discussions on the 2016 ballot propositions, led by CSUF Division of Politics, Administration and Justice professors Sarah Hill, Ph.D., and Stacy Mallicoat, Ph.D., will be held Tuesday in TSU Pavilion A from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Titan Advocates will be hosting an elections results watch party in the TSU Underground Pub from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 8.

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