Mar 30, 2010

Making it count: register

by Trey Smith, Cat Hewett

We have seen the posters, the tables in the halls and the videos. By now, it is clear what these things are all about – making our voices heard. On May 4th, students have the opportunity to vote in the Lynchburg City Council election. Recently there has been a campaign to get students to register to vote.

“I think it is always important to vote in whatever local elections you are involved in,” President of College Democrats Joel Krautter said.

President of the College Republicans Caleb Mast agrees that voting is very important for Liberty students.

“The College Republicans have been very active in encouraging their fellow students to register to vote by personally handing out voter registration forms in their dorms,” Mast said.

The College Republicans have been working the non-partisan voter registration tables on Liberty University’s campus and at Thomas Road Baptist church, according to Mast.

There have been posters displayed all over campus encouraging students to “Get Your Vote On.” Also, students have been able to watch four different videos in classes about registering to vote.

According to Mast, the first video presents serves as a step-by-step how-to guide on registering to vote.

“The students also need to know what issues are confronting them and that’s why the key points of contention are included in the videos, such as … the very high meals tax rate, which when combined with the low amount of expenditures made on Liberty’s side of town to improve public safety and transportation problems (which) is really pitiful,” Mast said.

Liberty University has changed over the years. The number of students enrolled has increased, new dorms have been built and buildings have been upgraded. However, these changes many times come with a cost.

“Once Liberty reaches the 12,000 student limit, we get hit with $8,000,000 worth of city mandates that we don’t need,” Mast said. “This will raise the cost of tuition greatly, hurting students’ chances for returning to school here at Liberty.”

Students who had not registered in previous elections changed their minds. “I got tired of the city of Lynchburg telling me that I needed to give them more money,” junior Brittany Whyte. “I, as a Liberty student, help their economy much more than my own city and feel that the money I give this city is quite more than enough.”

According to College Republicans member Zach Martin their motto for the campaign is “Save Liberty for Future Generations.” By voting, students will not only impact themselves but also the people of the city of Lynchburg.

“The City of Lynchburg has for too long been suffering under the leadership of tax and spenders who make up the majority on City Council,” Mast said. “With one fell swoop, on May 4th, Liberty University students, and the rest of the Lynchburg population can institute a new leadership that will govern within its means and focus on the primary needs of the community: safe roads, safe neighborhoods, fair taxation, and a good education.”

Director of Commuter Affairs Larry Provost is impressed with the progress of the voter registration campaign thus far.

“It is great to see such passion in our students,” Provost said. “So many fought so hard for young people to have the right to vote, so it is heartening to see Liberty students leading the way amongst colleges in the nation in this effort.”

According to Provost, 6,400 students have registered to vote in the past year and a half. Students can have a direct impact on issues affecting the university and the community by voting on May 4th.

“A student can get a form from any professor, CASAS, their RA, Human Resources, or the Commuter Office,” Provost said. “The Virginia State Board of Elections website also has voter forms.”

Contact Trey Smith at

Contact Cat Hewett at

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