Playing your part

The economy is down and workers are concerned. Military men and women remain in distant countries and families are worried. Endeavors to explore distant planets are being launched and America’s citizens are aggravated.

Issues like these are causing some people to take action and get registered to vote.

“I just registered a week and a half ago,” said Statishia Cone, 19, a freshman nursing student from Statesboro, Ga. Cone said that she is concerned about the upcoming presidential campaign in November and believes that everyone should play a part.

“Everyone, not just African Americans should take heed. It’s not hard, its just one simple vote.”

However, millions of Americans have not registered, which is why organizations across the nation are making efforts to make citizens aware of their right to be heard.

Radio talk show host Doug Banks and Russell Simmons teamed up and created project “One Mind. One Vote.” The project was launched on January 19 in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The project aims to register 2 million in time for this year’s presidential election. According to Banks there are 47 million people between the ages of 18-34 who are not registered voters.

Edwin ‘Ed the World Famous’ Sylvain, on-air personality for WWLD Blazin’ 102.3 FM, said that sending the message through radio is a good way to involve the community.

“We listen to the radio so much that any advertiser or person trying to get a message out would be a fool not to tap into radio, especially if you’re trying to reach the African American audience,” he said.

Sylvain said that project “One Mind. One Vote.” is crucial because not everyone realizes the effect their vote can have.

“As a people, I think that we need creative and energetic ways for us to get involved with politics…just to get registered to vote. It’s kind of sad it’s like that, but that’s the way it is for now,” he said.

Organizations on campus including the NAACP, SGA and the College Democrats are taking students aside to register them to vote and are educating them about the presidential candidates and important upcoming events.

SGA deputy director for student lobbying Ava Jones, said the organizations are working together to register students.

So far, student participation has been mixed.

“The freshman are really eager to register, but on the other hand there are some students who were discouraged by the 2000 election,” she said.

Kofy Emmanuel, 21, a sophomore business administration student from Miami said voting is pointless, but said he makes an effort to do it anyway.

“I question how much things have changed,” he said.

Jones said she is discouraged when she hears that students feel inferior to politicians. She said the struggle for the freedom to vote should be enough to get everyone involved.

“Don’t let 2000 be the deterrent to keep you away form 2004.”