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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown Students for Biden Works to Increase Youth Turnout, Provide Campaign Opportunities

Georgetownbiden | Georgetown University student activists, in conjunction with Georgetown University College Democrats, announced the launching of Georgetown Students for Biden, which hopes to campaign for President Biden’s reelection bid and create professional development opportunities for students.

Georgetown University students announced the formation of Georgetown Students for Biden-Harris, a student coalition to help reelect President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in the upcoming November 2024 presidential election Feb. 11.


Students for Biden plans to connect students with opportunities to be involved in the Biden campaign this spring, as well as engage in canvassing — which involves interacting with would-be voters to gain support for a particular candidate — and phone banking, a similar process conducted over the phone, as the election draws closer. The organization will provide opportunities for students to get involved in the campaign process in hopes of increasing civic engagement.


Rhea Iyer (CAS ’26), the president of Students for Biden, said that youth participation in politics is an increasingly essential aspect of electoral success, which inspired her involvement in the organization.


Youth are the driving force behind election results,” Iyer wrote to The Hoya. “I was inspired to help with Georgetown Students for Biden because of this experience and my commitment to amplifying youth voices in politics.” 


There are currently eight candidates running in the presidential election, with former President Donald Trump and incumbent President Biden dominating the races of their respective parties. Both candidates defeated their party rivals in the most recent primary, held in Michigan on Feb. 27. Primary elections are set to run through September of this year before the general election in November.


Polls have shown that the American public largely agrees that the 2024 election will be a crucial moment in the country’s history, particularly for the state of democracy, though voters are increasingly polarized. 


Over past years, college students have been voting in national elections at increasing rates, with a jump of 14% in the 2020 presidential election. Research has shown that get-out-the-vote initiatives on college campuses positively impact civic engagement.


Chris LoPresti (CAS ’25), the operations director for Students for Biden, stated that the group is in the early stages of organization and has been primarily focused on recruiting a larger number of students to its cause. 


“The big message that we have is that this isn’t an election that young people can sit out,” LoPresti told The Hoya. “We need to be involved and we need to start early.” 


“If we can organize on campus now, then that’s more people who are going to be out helping with organizing over the summer, who, in the fall, are going to help with get-out-the-vote, and we can reach out to more people to make sure that this election goes to Biden,” he added.


Megan Skinner (SFS ’24), communications director for Students for Biden, said that the organization hopes to partner with other campus groups to encourage students to vote by mail in their home states, a process she said can be particularly challenging to navigate.


“So many college students find it really hard to vote when they’re away from home,” Skinner told The Hoya. “You have to request your ballot, you have to get your ballot from the mailroom and then you have to send the ballot back. I think that’s really intimidating, especially for underclassmen who maybe haven’t even ever voted before in person.” 


“Part of our organization will be working with other organizations that do great work, like GU Votes and GU Politics, and making sure that everyone who can vote on this campus will vote,” she added.


Iyer said that Students for Biden will also work to coordinate and promote career opportunities for those interested in working in politics throughout the remainder of the spring semester. She said that as the election nears, the group plans to coordinate campaigning efforts for Biden with the Georgetown University College Democrats (GUCD), the university’s largest progressive student organization that campaigns year-round for Democratic candidates. 


This semester, we are largely focused on the professional development aspect of the organization. We will be hosting events and panels with youth leaders and Biden campaign staff to help students grow professionally,” Iyer wrote. “As the election gets closer, we will focus more on canvassing efforts in collaboration with Georgetown University College Democrats.”


Asher Maxwell (CAS ’26), a co-chair of GUCD, said that connecting with currently neutral voters will be a critical aspect of increasing voter turnout in support of the Biden-Harris campaign.


“I think a lot of it is just finding our friends who are politically neutral, independent or who are dissatisfied with the Biden-Harris ticket, which I think a lot of young voters are, and just reminding them that, first of all, the Biden-Harris administration has done a ton for young people in terms of canceling student loans and passing the Inflation Reduction Act,” Maxwell told The Hoya.


Maxwell added that contrasting the Biden administration’s successes with the failures and controversies of likely Republican nominee former President Donald Trump will also be a key strategy to raise support for President Biden.


“I don’t think people are aware of just how much the Biden administration has done for them and how much they will do in a second term, and even more importantly, how much a Trump administration would do in the opposite direction if they were to get a second term,” Maxwell said.


LoPresti said Students for Biden aims to mobilize Georgetown students to promote Biden’s platform and push for increased voter turnout from their peers. 


“Everyone has a role to play, and I think that’s a big point of it, is that everyone can be involved. We need more help. This is only February,” LoPresti said. “We’re still far out, but this has to be the largest scale youth mobilization effort in American history.” 

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