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The Pioneer

The Pioneer

East Bay’s women take on voting

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East Bay’s women take on voting

PHOTO BY TOM ARTHUR/WIKICOMMONS

PHOTO BY TOM ARTHUR/WIKICOMMONS

PHOTO BY TOM ARTHUR/WIKICOMMONS

By Jessica Irrera, STAFF WRITER

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Midterm elections are right around the corner and the women of California State University, East Bay are speaking up about their interpretation of the current political climate. Some female students on the CSUEB campus are interested in politics, while others believe that the political system itself is flawed. Recent issues such as, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault accusations, the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict immigration and politicians’ ignorance to the effects of climate change are propelling the 13 women interviewed for this article into the polls. “I want to vote out people who are not supportive of the LGBTQ community, Planned Parenthood and women’s rights, people who aren’t supportive of immigration reform, anything like that,” said senior Criminal Justice major Johara Flores. “I just want to help keep those people out.” Frustrations surrounding the electoral college’s decision to elect Donald Trump to the presidency after losing the popular vote are still lurking in the minds of the women on the CSUEB campus and are leaving many feeling discouraged about voting and being engaged in politics. “Why vote if our voices obviously don’t matter?” said Noor Kay, a senior sociology major. “There’s no differences being made on a large scale, so that tells me personally that the government really does not care about what the people have to say.” The effectiveness of voting is being questioned by these women on campus. Many of the 13 women interviewed stated that they intend on voting even though they are doubtful of its ability to generate change that benefits women, people of color and those with low income. “Maybe if I vote it will make a difference, but do I believe it will?” said Aliyah Denny, a 4th-year Ethnic Studies major. “No, I don’t think it will make a difference, but I’ll still do it.” The lowest voting demographic is consistently 18 to 29-year olds even though Millennials make up roughly 30 percent of the electorate, according to nonpartisan fact tank PEW Research Center. The 2016 Census report states that only 46.1 percent of the 18 to 29-year-old demographic voted during the 2016 election. Although this age demographic is notorious for their lack of involvement in voting, the thirteen women who were interviewed for this article all agreed that they planned on voting in the midterm elections. “Everyone is making it a priority to register to vote, especially ever since Trump got elected. We all need to get our stuff together,” Human Development student Fernanda Aranda told the Pioneer. Some students feel that more discussion and grassroots actions must happen for students to get more involved in elections and politics. CSUEB students marched down Carlos Bee Boulevard to Hayward City Hall in protest of President Donald Trump’s election in Nov. 2016, but there have not been any large protests on the CSUEB campus since. Some students feel that there need to be more protests and actions of the magnitude of the march toward City Hall. “We protested against our administration in high school, we held a big rally in front of our high school, and students gave speeches but I haven’t seen that once at CSUEB and I’ve been going there for six years,” said Spring Soto, a senior English major. CSUEB female students agree that getting involved in politics is necessary now more than ever, whether it is through voting or protest. “It is a very important time to vote because it literally decides our future,” said junior, kinesiology major Ariyana Smith-Robinson. “Donald Trump being elected to the presidency feels like a crisis, and it feels like we’re going backwards.” Election day is Nov. 6, but the Oct. 22 deadline to register in California is rapidly approaching. Voter registration is available online at https://registertovote.ca.gov/.

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California State University East Bay
East Bay’s women take on voting