“Rock the Vote” educates students

SOU Rock the Vote gave students and community members the opportunity to learn more about what’s on the ballot this year. Photo: Muuqi Maxwell/The Siskiyou

With less than a week until Election Day, organizations on the Southern Oregon University campus are working to encourage students to educate themselves and submit their ballots.

As a part of the “Vote OR Vote” campaign hosted by Associated Students of Southern Oregon University and the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group, a voter education event called “Rock the Vote” was held on October 29.

The main purpose of “Rock the Vote” was to provide students with information about some of the ballot measures involved in the coming election. The measures discussed were Measure 79, which bans real estate transfer taxes, Measure 80, which legalizes and regulates marijuana, Measure 84, which removes estate tax on large estates and Measure 85, which reallocates corporate tax rebates to K-12 education.

With the various tabling organizations and audience and speakers, the arena was a filled space. Photo: Muuqi Maxwell/The Siskiyou

After an overview of each ballot measure speakers for and against the measures presented their arguments and answered questions from those in attendance.

“I don’t know much about the ballot measures, so I’m interested in finding out more,” said student Joshua Vaughn. He also expressed a desire to explore new ideas and examine both sides of the arguments presented.

Music was performed at the opening and closing of “Rock the Vote” by local groups SaraTone and The Human Revolution. Food was also provided for students and community members at the event.

Booths lined the walls of the Stevenson Union Arena for different organizations providing more information on local issues. Students and visitors were encouraged to visit each booth for further education.

Booths at the event were from various groups including The Human Revolution, Eco Teas, the Ecology Center of the Siskiyous, GMO Free Jackson County, Alpha Kappa Psi, OSPIRG, and the Queer Resource Center.

Student body president Josh Danielson askes a question during the event.

One of the students in attendance, Jeff Reyes, was glad to see students at the event with the opportunity to learn more and get involved.

“Local issues are often decided by like 50-60 votes,” said Reyes. With such small numbers he pointed out the impact students could have by paying attention to issues and voting.

Jenn Ward, another visitor to Rock the Vote, quoted the phrase “act locally think globally” to describe the feeling at “Rock the Vote” and its message.

Free non-partisan voter guides to candidates and ballot measures were provided at the event. Students registered to vote are encouraged to study issues and submit their ballots which are due on Election Day, November 6.

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