Hillel encourages students to ‘Get Out The Vote!’

Ella Hulmuth, Staff Reporter

Manischewitz, challa and voter registration?

Last Friday, Shabbat dinner at Tulane Hillel was draped in red, white and blue for a bipartisan event to encourage Tulane students to vote in the upcoming elections. Tulane Internal Public Affairs Committee, College Democrats, College Republicans, and Women in Politics sponsored the “Get Out The Vote!” dinner.

To kick off the event, president of TIPAC Dawn Edelman gave a speech about the importance of considering one’s personal values and making the decision to represent and express those values in the upcoming local and national elections.

There were voter registration forms scattered out on the tables amid the food and drinks, and unregistered voters were encouraged to fill them out during dinner.

The organizers of the event were Edelman, College Republicans President Abigail Michel, College Democrats President Brooke Payton and WIP President Nicole Carle.

Payton said she felt grateful to Hillel for hosting the event and fostering a sense of togetherness and unity at Tulane.

“I realized how lucky we are to have a space like Hillel at Tulane,” Payton said. “How lucky are we that we have a place that celebrates so many aspects of student life in so many different ways.”

According to CNBC, during the 2012 election, only 38 percent of 18-24-year- olds voted. Student organizations at schools across the country are putting forth efforts to register their students to vote, through tabling, voter drives, and events like the one on Friday. Challenging student apathy is a priority for organizations like the ones who sponsored Friday’s event.

In addition to the efforts by individual political clubs on campus, Tulane has been hosting many other events related to the upcoming presidential election, and politics in general. Some have included debate screenings in The Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life and lectures by expert faculty regarding hot button political issues. These initiatives by the university serve to get students more involved in the modern political conversation.

Nicole Carle said she feels that there is a great importance of using one’s voice in the democratic process, especially as a young person.

“As an American citizen, being an informed voter is not only a privilege, but a duty,” Carle said. “The Tulane community is actively participating in getting the youngest cohort involved and excited and I hope to see everyone at the polls.”

Dawn Edelman said she felt happy that the event encouraged genuine bipartisanship.

“Being president of a bipartisan organization, it was so great to have the opportunity to work with political organizations on both ends of the spectrum to plan the Voter Registration Shabbat,” Edelman said. “Although everyone involved in planning has varying political opinions, we are all united in the belief that it is essential for students to express their values in their vote.”

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