Vikings create change through registration and education


Molly Sweeney

Augustana College has organized a campaign called Vikings Vote that will run from Sept. 21 to Oct. 2 with the goal of educating students and encouraging them to vote. 
Ashley Allen, interim director of the office of student inclusion and diversity (OSID) came up with the concept of the campaign. Her goal was to find opportunities to become more involved in the upcoming election. 
“We know the election only comes around every four years, but what can we do in between …[elections is] realize that your vote is an expression of your voice,” Allen said.
On Wednesday, OSID held a voter registration booth as one part of the campaign in order to make registration more accessible. 
Junior Emmy Sharaan* registered at the Vikings Vote booth on Wednesday because the booth made registering to vote a much more simple process.
“All I needed was my I.D and a piece of mail that I got at the Augustana mailing office,” Sharaan said.“Then I basically just wrote down my address and my old voting address because I was registered to vote back home.”
Joey Marcet, senior and president of the college republicans, volunteered to work the voter registration booth. He believes that giving students the opportunity to register will have a positive impact on the school.
“I think it sets a good example. If students see others are registering to vote, they’ll do the same,” Marcet said.“So many people fought and died for the right to vote and voting is something a lot of people won’t do. They don’t recognize how unusual it is throughout the course of history to have the right to vote.”
Junior Jaylin Strong works in OSID and was also a volunteer for the voter registration booth.  
“The booth shows the importance of registering to vote,” Strong said “I feel like it’s needed on campus to give people the opportunity. There’s a lot going on in politics right now and I feel like getting out there and voting will make a difference that we need to see in this country.”
“Having a say in who our elected officials are is very important. Because whether we like it or not, politics does impact our everyday lives,”  Sharaan said. 
On Tuesday, Sept. 29, the Vikings Vote campaign  hosted an event called “Your Voice is Your Power”. There was multiple speakers and a focus on how to use your voice and the power it holds. 
There will be a First Friday event on Oct. 2 from 11am-3pm called Use Your Voice. There will be voting trivia and activities that prompt the question regarding why we vote and what the importance of using our voice is. 
Overall, Allen hopes that the Vikings Vote campaign will have lasting impacts, whether that be through registering to vote, or using your voice beyond the election for the things that you are passionate about. 
“We have this concept that I am a viking and I’m a viking that gets out and votes,” Allen said. 
*Emmy Sharaan is part of the Observer staff