College students have historically built a reputation of failing to come to the polls. However, with the many resources available and the wave of activism among younger citizens, that can change.
Cal State Fullerton continues to promote voter turnout among the student demographic by providing registration, voting and proposition information on its website. The university will also host a voting center at the Titan Student Union that will be open from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3, in addition to the university’s Irvine campus.
Associated Students created multiple posts on Instagram with information regarding elections and have even created an election team.
In the 2018 election, only 17,432 CSUF students of the registered 28,196 voted, a little over 60%.
As of Oct. 20, over 65,000 Californian college students registered to vote, according to the California Secretary of State. Only 21,000 California college students registered to vote in 2016.
The use of social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and TikTok makes it easier and more effective for younger audiences to engage in voter awareness, said Jacob Singer, a fifth-year communications student at CSUF.
It’s become more common for friends and family to post and reshare resources, but there’s no guarantee that people will take time to read it. Singer said it all depends on who posts it.
“Within the sea of everything that’s getting posted I highly doubt people are checking in on every single one,” Singer said. “Everyone within the people that they are closest with might have more of a reason or a want to actually see what they posted.”
Singer said he may take the time to look at a post if it's coming from a credible source such as a CSUF account or professor.
James Barr, the Republicans of CSUF recruitment director and business administration major, said that he agrees that the school has been doing a great job trying to motivate students and are mainly voting because of their mindset to not let a specific candidate win rather than voting for a candidate that they genuinely like.
“If you care at all about politics, regardless of what side of the aisle you rest on, your focus should be to register to vote because you may not think because of the numbers involved that your vote matters, but it absolutely does,” Barr said. “Even if you don’t care about politics, you should at least exercise your right to have your voice heard.”
Sami Brown, a political science CSUF alumna, said that it’s important that college students are reminded of how powerful and important their vote is.
“I think it’s important to register to vote because your vote is your voice in this country,” Brown said. “Deciding how you want it to play out, not only for yourself but for your friends, your family, people of color, women, LGBTQ, immigrants.”
As someone working in immigration law, Brown said she believes it’s important to utilize one’s vote for those who cannot, such as immigrants and those who are incarcerated because students have the power to determine what this country will look like. While the statistics are still unknown for the voter turnout of CSUF students this year, Barr and Singer both believe it will be higher.