Malik Gayle, Staff Writer
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, half of young adults who are eligible to vote will not vote. With primaries for the 2016 elections underway and potential candidates dwindling down, it is the time when Utica College prepares students for their first time voting in an election.
Throughout March, there has been a table set up where students can register to vote. This has not been the first time students have been able to receive help. Student Activities has previously hosted on-campus voter registration and provided transportation for students to polling locations for previous elections.
“A lot of college students just don’t realize it’s something they can do. Once they realize that they have the opportunity, they usually will. Our goal is to push them into the right direction to casting that vote,” Keith Rubino, 22nd Congressional District volunteer said about students voting in primaries as well as the main election.
Rubino was one of several volunteers who helped students register to vote; pitching to students why they should register to vote in Utica rather than in their hometowns or not at all.
“Not everyone has a car and if they actually do want to vote and if they do want to have some kind of input. We’re in college right now. We’re old enough to understand what’s going on in the country and the government.” Gabrielle McQueen, a student registering to vote at the table, said.
“We want to make sure that students to know that it’s very important to voice their opinion” Bethany A. VanBenschoten, assistant director of Student Activities, said.
When it comes to asking students and advisors about their first time voting, it is clear how much of an impact voting has on the decisions made by those who win and the voter.
“It was really cool to be that group of people walking in to the library with my parents and the people in the community that I knew. I felt like I was an adult, that was really cool for me. I want to make sure that students have that option too.” VanBenschoten said about her first time voting.
“Anxiety off the charts,” McQueen said about her feelings on voting for the first time. “I’ve never voted before so I don’t know what to expect.”