Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Campaign Georgetown Helps Increase Registration

Campaign Georgetown’s efforts resulted in the number of Georgetown students registered to vote in the District of Columbia more than doubleing this year. According to Co-Chairman Brian cCabe (SFS ’02), more than 850 students switched their registration to become eligible D.C. voters.

“The student response this time around was absolutely fantastic. They are excited about voting, and they realize that local politics really does affect them,” McCabe said.

Justin Wagner (COL ’03), who is currently running unopposed for a seat on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, is equally pleased with this year’s results.

“Society and the media try to give the impression that young people are not interested in politics,” he said. “But the incredible turnout this year shows that is not the case, at least not at Georgetown.”

Campaign Georgetown is a student-run organization dedicated to increasing the number of students participating in D.C. politics. The group, composed of approximately 30 members, meets weekly to discuss and evaluate their political efforts.

Campaign Georgetown has also been taking steps to ensure that students who registered in the district in past years have updated their addresses so that they can vote in November by going door to door in dormitories to remind them to do so.

McCabe attributes the significant increase of student registration to the excitement of the presidential election year and the recent community issues that have sparked controversy.

“There has been a lot that’s gone on just this year with the neighborhood, and I think students saw this as an opportunity to take a stand and influence local politics,” he said.

“Students live here nine months out of the year and whether they realize it or not, they are members of the community. If they don’t vote here, they won’t have much of a say in issues like housing rules, the 10-Year-Plan and the Block Party.”

Phillipa Sparg (SFS ’03), the other co-chair of Campaign Georgetown, agreed that there are overwhelming advantages to voting here.

“It’s important to play a part in politics in Washington, D.C. because otherwise we don’t have a voice in our own local government,” Sparg said.

“We can’t complain and expect the elected politicians to listen if we are not even voting members of the community,” she said.

This year, Campaign Georgetown began to advocate voting in the district as early as New Student Orientation and continued until the Oct. 10 voter registration deadline. However, their work is not over just because the deadline has passed.

“We are going to now focus on the `getting out to vote effort’ and try to get people excited about the elections coming up,” Sparg said. “We are also helping Justin Kopa and Justin Wagner with their campaigns for the ANC.”

Campaign Georgetown has tried to attract student attention through various activities on campus. Sparg said they “really tried to step up the intensity” because it was a presidential election year.

“[Campaign Georgetown] spent a lot of time going door to door and talking to students in Red Square one on one,” cCabe said. “We were out there every single day telling students how much power we have to influence local politics together.”

The organization also set up informational booths outside the New South Dining Hall and hung fliers and posters throughout the buildings and residential halls. As a registered voting member of the district, students are eligible to participate in local ANC and Board of Education elections, among others.

“Since almost everyone that I will be representing is a student, we are going to have a good share of influence that can benefit the university,” Wagner said. “This can’t happen without Georgetown students voting.”

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