With the 2016 Presidential election swiftly approaching, one Pacific Lutheran University organization is doing its best to get students politically charged.
ASPLU hosted “Vote or Dye” Wednesday Sept. 30 in Red Square in hopes of getting unregistered students excited to vote.
“The whole point of it is to engage the community…but to also make it a really public event so that voting is cool [and] also fun,” Martha Speiker, senior and ASPLU President, said. “What’s better than tie-dye, right?”
“Vote or Dye” supplied participating students with bundled up T-shirts they were able to dye with paint. The T-shirts served as a souvenir from the event and a reminder to students to vote in next year’s presidential election.
“I think that this is the most important presidential election that our country [has faced] in at least 20 years,” senior Steve Shumaker said. “So, I really think it’s important to get people registered to vote who will actually vote.”
“Vote or Dye” was conceptualized as an event to get students thinking about the impact their vote can have on campus, on the local community and on the nation as a whole. Getting students excited to exercise their voting rights is what Speiker says will promote a better functioning society.
“College is kind of a preparation for the real world, and so I think engaging people in understanding issues – and having a space to talk about those issues – is a lot of what college is about,” Speiker said. “Doing a voting drive and making sure that people are registered to vote and actually voting in larger elections…is really important because that’s the basis of our society.”
It’s not only the members of PLU’s student government that feel the young vote matters. PLU students also agree that voting is the optimal way to have their voices heard.
“I feel like we should all be able to be adults and be in charge of [our futures],” sophomore Tatiana Iglesias said. “Now that I have the opportunity… I feel like I’m gonna make a difference, even if it’s just my vote.”
Students also agree that there’s nothing like tie-dye to get the student body to engage in their civic duty.
“It’s always a good thing when there’s tie-dye,” first-year Melanie Gungerson said.