November 6, 2012
By Brady O’Brien ‘13
As Election Day approached student political activists at CSB and SJU worked to generate voter turnout among their fellow students, many of whom are voting for the first time.
SJU junior and chair of the College Republicans Edward Peichel is doing everything in his power to get students to become informed and excited voters.
"We've done several literature drops, handing out literature from local candidates to students. That's been the biggest thing. Minnesota hasn't gotten a lot of attention nationally, so it's been tougher to get students excited about the Republican Party and Romney."
In addition to handing out election material, campus political organizations are relying heavily on canvassing to reach out to students.
"We've been meeting every week to do phone banking on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday," said CSB sophomore Bridget Cummings, co-chair of the College Democrats. "We've also been going through the dorms to talk to students to make sure they know what they are voting for. I'm pretty excited about it, because students seemed sort of apathetic about it before, but once the debates started people got more excited."
Most students will be voting in their first presidential election. For some, it will be their first time voting ever.
"At this point it feels good to be able to vote," said SJU first-year David Huss. "Being in college doesn't really feel like the real world, but it just feels good to know that I can finally be a part of the process."
With the College Republicans and College Democrats working to get their favored candidate into office, another campus organization is trying to get students to focus more on ideology, directing their attention to respecting the opposition and understanding the arguments of opposing sides.
"We're not really about parties and helping people get elected", said SJU senior Alex Ricci, chair of the student organization Students Fostering Conservative Thought. "We like to discuss the issues, especially the contentious ones."
For some students, issues like the marriage and voter ID amendments carry more weight than deciding on the next president.
"I feel most strongly about the marriage amendment," said CSB sophomore Beth Leipholtz. "I feel like each no vote matters more than people think. Each one brings our state one step closer to not limiting people's freedom."
While some students are still figuring out how they will vote, SJU first-year Connor Reid is just excited to be involved.
"I'm excited just to vote. It will be nice to know I have some sort of influence this year."