By Jazzminn Morecraft
On Nov. 6, 2018 the midterm elections will take place. Student Government spent the week of Oct. 15-18 preparing and spreading awareness to students for this day by hosting their Civic Engagement Week.
This week consisted of many different events. On Monday, Oct. 15 and Wednesday, Oct. 17 Student Government had their Sweets and Swag tabling. During this event they informed students about voting and helped them register if they hadn’t done so. They tabled everywhere from the Student Union Courtyard, Central Mall and El Dorado Park.
In addition to tabling, Student Government, along with other campus partners, hosted two big events. Tuesday, Oct. 16 was the Constitution Day Carnival and Thursday, Oct. 18 was the Civic Engagement Fair.
“I think one of the strongest aspects of this week was the collaboration across and outside of campus,” stated Atticus Reyes, Student Government President. “Student Government partnered with Student Leadership Programs, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, League of Women Voters of Ventura County, Resident Hall Association, Latina Leadership Coalition, and many other students, staff and faculty that assisted with this effort.”
At the Constitution Day Carnival, Celina Zacarias, Administrator II, Kim Gregory, Communication Specialist, Tim Allison, Lecturer AY – Political Science and Dr. Richard Yao, Vice President for Student Affairs, all spoke. They encouraged students to vote by speaking to them about their rights, the impact of their voices and their power.
“Listen to other perspectives, perspectives that might differ from your own,” stated Dr. Yao. “It might make your blood boil … but that’s okay.”
At the Civic Engagement Fair, both State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and Reyes spoke to those who attended. “State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson spoke about the importance of getting involved as younger people in this system and the power of voting,” said Reyes. “She continued that if younger people don’t vote, then other people get to decide their future.”
In addition to the speakers, there were clubs and organizations tabling, food trucks, lawn games and a set up in the middle that helped students to register to vote.
CI participated in a state-wide competition called the Ballot Bowl. On Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State’s website, it states, “The California Students Vote Project, a project of the California Secretary of State in partnership with the California Lieutenant Governor and a coalition of nonprofit organizations, aims to increase civic engagement and voter participation among California University and college students … The Ballot Bowl will allow the campuses of the California Community College, California State University, and University of California and Privates (AICCU) systems to participate in a friendly competition for the highest number of students registered and the highest percentage of the student body registered to vote.”
The Ballot Bowl ended Monday, Oct. 22 and CI registered 643 students. “[That’s] fourth highest in the whole state, second highest by percentage,” Reyes announced. Reyes also said that this was all done within a week and a half.
“The purpose of the week was to counter traditional narratives of college students by inspiring and motivating students to participate in this upcoming election, [which] I believe we [achieved].”