Monday, July 22

Student coalition helps to register 1,500 voters


Though the student coalition heading “UCLA Vote
2003″ registered 15 percent of their original 10,000 student
goal, many believe their efforts were a success.

The coalition ““ made up of student leaders from
organizations including CalPIRG, Bruin Democrats and five
Undergraduate Students Association Council offices ““ worked
up a frenzy Sunday and Monday to register students to vote for the
upcoming Oct. 7 recall election.

The event particularly targeted first-year students by
encouraging registration at Welcome Week events and the residential
dorms.

USAC External Vice President Matthew Kaczmarek said the
coalition had the most success by tabling outside of events such as
the Welcome Back Concert on Sunday night.

Undeclared first-year student Natalie Frausto was registered by
the coalition this past weekend. She believes the registration
effort helped to register many people who would not have registered
otherwise.

“Some people are too lazy to walk to the post office (to
register),” Frausto said.

Erin Walsh, the vice chairwoman of the executive committee of
CalPIRG, agrees that the event was a success.

“It’s amazing that a handful of volunteers can
register 1,500 people in such a short amount of time,” she
said.

Last year, 1,000 students were registered to vote by various
student groups, but the effort was spread over seven days rather
than two.

Walsh also noted that though the students were “very
receptive,” many were unaware of the issues on the upcoming
ballot. She also said the organizations will now switch their
efforts from registration to education.

In particular, the student leaders will try to raise student
awareness of Proposition 54.

If passed, the measure would ban the state from collecting
racial statistics, except in some cases of health care and law
enforcement. The proposition would not affect data collected by the
federal government.

Proponents in favor of Proposition 54 believe that deleting this
information from state institutions will help create a
“colorblind society.”

However, Lauren Turbin, outreach director of the Bruin
Democrats, said if Proposition 54 passes, it will be
“devastating to UCLA and California.”

Though USAC has already passed a resolution against the measure,
Priscella Chen, the council’s finance committee chairwoman,
said the leaders will provide students with both the pros and cons
of the proposition.

To promote awareness for the upcoming election, student leaders
are planning different education activities, such as having
speakers come to campus, passing out flyers, making signs, tabling,
and perhaps holding a concert.

Overall, Chen said there will be a “get out to vote
push” until Oct. 7. Though not all the students who are
registered will necessarily vote, Walsh said she hopes “100
percent” will.

Historically, students are not highly represented at the voting
booths; in the 1998 gubernatorial election, only 29 percent of
eligible voters from ages 18-24 were registered.

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