SGA offers rides to SGA offers rides to polls

Students eager to vote gathered at the University Center on Wednesday to catch a free ride to early voting locations.

The Student Government Association organized a shuttle to bus students between campus and the voting station at Palm Center, 5300 Griggs Road every half hour from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The service, which runs through today, effectively mitigates an array of student woes that may have otherwise hindered voting.

"I didn’t want to lose my parking space," said computer engineering junior Brandon Williams. "I think this (shuttle) is a really good thing because if they didn’t have it, I would have put voting off ’til later or maybe not get to go at all."

Communication freshman Katherine Alvarado is similarly satisfied with the service. She said it contributed positively to her first voting experience and encouraged her to stay politically active.

"I think (the shuttle) is awesome, because I really had no idea where I could go vote around where I live," Alvarado said. "I knew I had to go get it done, and I remember I got an e-mail saying they had a shuttle service."

While e-mails were the SGA’s main method of advertising the shuttle service, word spread to some students through second-hand sources.

"I heard about it from a friend of mine in my fraternity, Omega Delta Phi. He came to a meeting last night and told everybody, ‘There’s early voting tomorrow, you guys should go -they’ll be having shuttles.’" Williams said.

But in the bus, surrounded by open seats, education junior Christen Crayton said the campus could have benefited from better publicity.

"Maybe pass out some flyers so more people can use (the shuttle). Or in the residential halls they make those announcements – maybe they could do that," Crayton said.

Nevertheless, Crayton appreciated the convenience.

"I think this is a good idea, because I didn’t know how I was going to go early vote, and so when I saw the e-mail I thought, good, I can go and I don’t have to wait in a long line on Election Day," she said.

The historic implications of this year’s presidential election are in the forefront of some students’ minds as they roll to the polls.

"If (Sen. Barack) Obama wins, we have the first black president, and even if (Sen. John) McCain wins we have the first female vice president, so either way we’ve made a social change that’s good," Crayton said. "It’s my first time, and I want to make a difference. I want to see Barack Obama in office, and that’s what motivates me the most."

Williams, who has voted once before in a presidential election, said he is encouraged by the strides he’s seen taken by both political parties.

"This election is a powerful implication of how we’re progressing as a country," Williams said. "Just the fact that you have Obama running for the presidency, and you have a woman running for the vice presidency shows a lot of progress for the country as a whole, and I think it’s definitely going to be influential."

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