Decision 2020

College Students Urging Peers to Participate in Political Process

Southern Connecticut State University students are finding different ways to lend a helping hand and let their voices be heard in the countdown to election day.

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Members of the College Republicans at Southern Connecticut State University went door to door Wednesday, leaving pamplets and information concerning voting and candidates.

Frank Musante, a senior with the group, shared why it's important for his group to go out and canvas.

"The reason we still want to get out there to door knock and drop off our literature is to remind people that there is an election about the state and not just the president."

The group said they see a difference in what folks are concerned about nationally versus state wide.

"You hear a lot about, when we’re knocking the police bill, you hear a lot about taxes and spending, tolls also are the biggest issues we here about and what the voters care about," said Musante.

The pandemic has turned normal election season rituals like voting person and even canvassing upside down but the group says safety plays a major factor when going from home to home.

"The main thing is we leave the thing on the door and then stepping back and wearing our mask making sure the voter feels comfortable and we feel comfortable," said Musante.

Justin Gendron is president of College Democrats at SCSU. He said he still wants to bring light and information to voters about the upcoming election but is taking a different approach.

"So the reason we’re not going to door knock this year is mainly because of COVID and we want to keep our members safe," he said.

The college junior goes on to explain, "I wanted to help as much as possible so the way we can do that is through text banking and phone banking and we can all be safe and be in our dorms and still help out. Texting is the way of the future in terms of campaigning cause we all have our phones on our person."

But there are young people who aren't letting their age deter them from participating in the political process. Seventeen-year-old Andreina Barajas said on November 3 she’ll be fulfilling her civic duty in a different way due to her age.

"Come Election Day I’ll be working the polls in Fairfield, Connecticut" said Barajas, "I miss Election Day by two days - I turn 18 two days after the Election Day.

In the state of Connecticut the minimum age requirement is 16, allowing Barajas a freshman in college the opportunity to still lend a helping hand.

"That’s honestly the reason I wanted to get involved because I won’t be able to vote but I wanted to still make a positive impact. I’ve been volunteering with poll heroes so we’ve been registering a lot of young poll workers. We’re trying to get more students involved in politics so they know what’s going on and that they know that they could still make an impact even though they’re not 18 and able to vote," Barajas said.

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