Amanda Paladino, Assistant News Editor
Rock the Vote, the largest nonpartisan and non-profit organization in the United States driving young people to the polls, made its way to Utica College last Thursday. It was hosted by MTV’s Nick Brown.
For decades, Rock the Vote has pioneered ways to get young individuals involved with politics. The organization continues to make strides today by blending pop culture with political matters and is driven by the sole goal of reminding millennials that the role they play in the election process is vastly influential.
Yet, as Brown gathered UC students in the Strebel Auditorium, he reminded them just how significant they are as the discussion shifted to something beyond the voting booths.
“I got so much out of this,” junior Taneill Davis said. “It’s all about opening people’s minds and broadening their perspectives.”
The theme of broadening one’s horizons was ingrained in the entirety of Brown’s presentation as he emphasized how crucial this is in order to come together and foster change in our nation.
“I always harp on perspective. We can all agree that more perspective doesn’t hurt anyone. Being more open minded doesn’t hurt anyone. Who ever says, ‘having a closed off mind is the way to be?’” Brown said. “The only thing that separates us, really, it’s just perspective.”
For Brown, getting involved means realizing what you like and don’t like in terms of politics and candidates. He advised students to do so and to stay aware, encouraging the development of their own individual voice that carries weight. He stressed the importance of becoming acclimated with timely issues and taking a stance while keeping in mind that although things may not affect us directly, they may affect those we care about.
Brown also encouraged students to exercise their ability to expand their outlook, offering insight on effective ways of doing so. He especially highlighted the value of travel.
“I like to say travel. Traveling is something that is always self-taught- the things you pick up on, they’re emotional,” Brown said. “You see someone in a certain situation, and you feel different than you would if you simply watched it on the news or if someone just told you. It humanizes things. And that won’t ever change. We’re still all human.”
As Rock the Vote came to a close, students shared the inspiration they felt with Brown, acknowledging that they can make positive change and that their vote counts. Perhaps more importantly, though, they displayed a desire to strive for more.
“It’s weird, because the later that this has gone into the election, the less about politics I feel that we need to speak of,” Brown said.