WCU students register to vote as part of nationwide effort
Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day
WEST CHESTER >> Students at West Chester University took part in National Voter Registration Day Tuesday.
Clubs and organizations across campus volunteered their time at tables set up across campus to encourage students and staff to register to vote and know their polling locations ahead of Election Day.
The last day to register to vote before the Nov. 8 election is Oct. 11 in Pennsylvania.
Aileen Assumma, coordinator of the nonpartisan effort by the Office of Service Learning and Volunteer Programs, estimated 2,000 students and staff had registered or changed their registration address since last fall. She said a couple hundred students have registered this semester, most of which are incoming freshmen.
“We’re really trying to raise awareness and help get students to voting locations,” Assumma said while asking students to register on the academic quad Tuesday afternoon. “We have voting tables set up throughout campus including Sykes Student Union and the library.”
Assumma spent much of her time directing students to the
VotesPA.com website to find their polling place. The site also offers the ability to change your address online. First-time voters need to bring valid identification to the polling place. The West Chester University student ID card is included in the list of acceptable identification.
Assumma said many students prefer to register on campus because many are unable to travel back to their homes on Election Day.
Assumma, a junior from Westchester, New York, plans to cast her vote via an absentee ballot. She said West Chester University has helped with the efforts, sending an email from the university president to all students encouraging them to vote.
Assumma also credited the Donald Trump campaign for planning an event at the university last April. She said the visit motivated students to be interested in politics and to register to vote.
“I think our school did a great job of getting both sides fairly represented at the Trump rally — protesters on one side and supporters on the other,” Assumma said.
“It’s making it (the election) more real,” said volunteer organizer Samantha Stalford, a senior from Green Lane. “It’s hard to ignore when a candidate is on your campus.”
As with most students at West Chester, this is the first presidential election Stalford will vote in. She did vote in the spring primary. On Tuesday, she was busy signing up freshman students, including Jessica Epstein of Havertown, Taylor Ryan of Media, and Lauren Miller of Aston. Their friend, Morgan Spornak, a freshman from Warminster, had already registered when she moved on campus.
Asked what their motivation was, Miller also credited Trump.
“I don’t want Donald to be president,” she said. “I think he’d be very bad at it.”
West Chester University senior Samantha Stalford and junior Aileen Assumma sign up students to vote on the campus’s academic quad Tuesday.
West Chester University senior Samantha Stalford offers candy to freshman students, including Jessica Epstein of Havertown, Taylor Ryan of Media, and Lauren Miller of Aston after they signed up to vote.