Rock the Vote gives BYU students civic, voting awareness


    By Ruth Cuevas

    Rock the Vote campaign, organized by BYUSA, is coming to campus to help students recognize the importance of voting and staying up to date on political issues that affect them directly.

    Michael Wilson, executive director of the Student Advisory Council, attended a statewide committee called the Utah Council on Civic Awareness, which is devoted to raising civic awareness among college students. There, Wilson learned that BYU was ranked last in voter registration and political awareness.

    “What we have done in the past has been zero when compared to any of the other universities here in Utah, and we should be the shining example in the area of political awareness and civic awareness and voting and all of these things,” Wilson said.

    Previously known as voter registration week, Rock the Vote is Wilson”s and other SAC member”s way of trying to change the image of the week and improve upon its activities and make it better. They said their goal is to help students learn about voting, become aware of it and realize voting is important no matter whether they are voting in Utah or in their home states.

    Wilson said he suggests students be aware of the issues and take the time to vote.

    “Register to vote and take part in this political process that is kind of like a gift given to us,” Wilson said. “Be well informed and then just vote because that will actually make sure that the student voice is heard and that your individual voice is heard.”

    Mafile”o Latu, a senior from Provo, majoring in music, said she agrees that voting is a gift and an opportunity people should all take advantage of whenever possible.

    “The United States is unique in the manner that it”s the individual, the everyday citizen, that has a say in what goes on not only on a local and state level, but also on a national level and so really the power of the nation is in the citizen,” she said. It”s a freedom that people die for everyday.”

    Rock the Vote week will begin today after Devotional with a barbecue in the WSC Quad where a band will play to preview for Battle of the Bands. Students will also have the opportunity to become informed about issues while they stand in line.

    Along with this kick off activity, the week will include about 10 to 13 booths set up around campus with advertising to help students get informed and know the issues.

    At noon on Thursday, Utah Lieutenant Governor Olene Walker will host a presentation on voting and how it applies to college students.

    Following Walker”s remarks, a BYU celebrity Jeopardy game will begin. The game will have a Saturday Night Live feel, but will be based on political ideals and questions. Details regarding what celebrities will be there will be released later in the week.

    The week”s culminating activity will be a Battle of the Bands, which will take place Saturday Sept. 27 from 8 to 11p.m. in the SWKT Quad.

    “It will be the old Battle of the Bands, but with a voting flare and we”ll have voting activities and places and opportunities to register to vote as well,” Wilson said.

    Anyone looking to get informed about the Provo elections and candidates can do so by visiting any of the booths on campus during Rock the Vote week. Each booth will have information compiled to better educate students.

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