Given the importance of the recent midterm election, student governments from every California State University campus pledged to register and educate students.
Each school was given a number of students to register in relation to the size of the campus.
CSU East Bay’s Associated Students Inc. (ASI) pledged to register 2,000 students during a campaign called “Hype Your Right,” but fell short with a final count of 836 students.
“I consider the ‘Hype Your Right’ Voter Registration phase a huge success,” said Joe Tafoya, Director of External Affairs for ASI.
“I am very proud of the work ASI performed because, as data on the low turnout of voters ages 18 to 24 suggests, most of those would not have otherwise registered, let alone become attuned to the politics surrounding the election.”
Tafoya made it a point in recent interviews that there were many aspects of the election that affect higher education and that students should be concerned with election outcomes.
In order to illustrate his point, ASI held a series of educational events regarding election details that surround education.
ASI can feel accomplished at that fact, given that many on campus events have poor turnout.
Getting students involved in politics can be an even harder task than getting them involved in a karaoke contest.
“For most students, I believe, having that presence and information readily available, made the difference in turning out to vote,” added Tafoya. “Students witnessed other students vested in the politics of the election in the tune of higher education and wanted to be a part of it.”
ASI can be proud that they not only got students on campus excited about politics, but they also fared pretty well in the inter-CSU voter registration competition.
CSUEB got the seventh most voters out of the entire CSU system, beating out larger schools like San Jose and Sacramento.
Placing highest was Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with 2,422 votes, beating its closet opponent, Fullerton, by more than a thousand voters.
CSU East Bay’s one-on-one competitor in the campaign was Dominguez Hills, due to the fact that the school has about the same population, is on the quarter system and has a similarly structured ASI.
“Our campaign defeated them at rate of approximately seven to one,” explained Tafoya. “As a result, the delegate from that campus will dye their hair red and black in honor of East Bay at the CSSA (a meeting in which representatives from all CSUs attend) monthly meeting on the Dominguez Hills campus.”
Tafoya made it clear that, while he is proud of the effort East Bay put forth, the voter competition between schools was not the basis for his passion to get students registered and active voters.
“The ‘Hype Your Right’ campaign was more than a simple target we wanted to meet,” added Tafoya. “It represented a certain idealism alive within our student body leadership.”
Altogether, the CSUs registered 15,034 students to vote in the election.
“Our campaign made contact with a great many more than 836 students,” added Tafoya. “I believe this will last.”