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As students prepare for pivotal elections, SU launches ambitious Rock the Vote campaign
As students prepare for pivotal elections, SU launches ambitious Rock the Vote campaignSeptember 25, 2008Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
The 2008 general election is galvanizing young people nationwide. Closer to home, reported figures indicate a 160 percent increase in turnout among voters aged 18-29 for New York’s presidential primaries. To capitalize on this interest, Syracuse University is partnering with Rock the Vote to host Rock the ‘Cuse, a series of voter registration and education events to be held Sept. 28-Oct. 2.
The purpose of Rock the Vote: Rock the ‘Cuse is to increase the number of SU students who are registered to vote, as well as to educate them about the issues facing voters from traditionally underrepresented populations: African American voters, Latino voters, Asian American voters, female voters and LGBT voters. Organized by the Office of Student Life, the series will feature concerts and student performances, panel discussions and debates, and voter registration tables.
All sessions are open to all students and the public, and are free of charge unless noted otherwise. Public parking will be in the University’s paid visitor lots. For general information about Rock the Vote: Rock the ‘Cuse, e-mail email@example.com or visit http://studentlife.syr.edu/Events/Traditions/RocktheVote.aspx.
Sunday, Sept. 28: African American Voters’ Day
Rock the Vote: Rock the ‘Cuse will kick off with the African American Voters’ Forum, to be held from 6-8 p.m. in Rooms 304 A, B and C of the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center. This opening panel discussion and Q&A session will explore the biggest issues facing African American voters in the upcoming election. George Kilpatrick of WCNY will moderate the discussion, and other participants will include Stanley Dean, chair of the Central New York Black Republican Chapter; state Sen. Antoine Thompson of Buffalo; and Kim Rohadfox-Ceaser, commissioner of education for the Syracuse City School District.
Also on Sept. 28, from 8-10 p.m. in the Jabberwocky Cafe, “Rock the Cuse OUT” will feature a showcase of student music and poetry, including “Century of Soul,” a tribute to soul music featuring student performers. Student poets, singers, rappers, writers, artists and others will share their political thoughts through art. For event details, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, Sept. 29: Latino Voters’ Day
From 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Schine Atrium, participants can register to vote, change their polling places, request an absentee ballot, learn about the candidates, and explore the history of voting. Student organizations La L.U.C.H.A. and Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Se?oritas Latinas Unidas Sorority Inc. are collaborating to offer this event.
The Latino Voters’ Forum will take place from 6-8 p.m. in Schine 304 A, B and C. This panel discussion will be moderated by Diana Perez of NOSOTROS Radio, and participants will include Bethaida (Bea) Gonzalez, dean of University College and president of the Syracuse Common Council; Hilda Martinez, program coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Affairs; Rita Paniagua, executive director of the Spanish Action League/La Liga; Anthony Otero, assistant director of Student Centers and Programming Services and chair of the Association of Neighbors Concerned for Latino Advancements; and Julio Urrutia, community organizer for the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse.
From 8-10 p.m. in the Jabberwocky Cafe, La L.U.C.H.A. will present “Rock the ‘Cuse OUT!” with student performances.
Tuesday, Sept. 30: Asian American Voters’ Day
From 11 a.m.-2 p.m., voter registration tabling will continue in the Schine Atrium.
From 6-8 p.m. in Schine 304 A, B and C, Shiu-Kai Chin, Meredith Professor of Engineering and past director of the CASE Center at SU, will moderate the Asian American Voters’ Forum with Tae-Sun Kim, associate director in OMA; Andreas Kwon of the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse; and Khuram Hussain, professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
From 8-10 p.m., student organization ASIA will present “Rock the ‘Cuse OUT” in the Jabberwocky Cafe, featuring “YELL-O Night” student performances. For event information, e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, Oct. 1: Women Voters’ Day
Women Voters’ Day will begin with Schine Atrium tabling from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., presented by S.A.S.S.E. and Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Se?oritas Latinas Unidas Sorority Inc.
The Women Voters’ Forum will take place from 6-8 p.m. in Schine 304 A, B and C. Participants include Carole Marsh, Pompey town supervisor; Diane Dwire, chair of the Onondaga County Democratic Committee; Lovely Warren, Rochester City Council member; Rhoda Smith, past director of 40Below; and Barrie Gewanter, chair of the Central New York Civil Liberties Union.
“Rock the ‘Cuse OUT!” will feature the fall 2008 installment of the Verizon Wireless Campus Tour featuring Boys Like Girls with special guests Cute is What We Aim For and Lights. Held at 8 p.m. in the Schine Student Center’s Goldstein Auditorium, tickets will be on sale at the Schine Box Office for $10 for students and $20 for members of the public.
Thursday, Oct. 2: LGBT Voters’ Day
LGBT Voters’ Day will begin with Schine Atrium tabling from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
The LGBT Voters’ Forum, from 6-8 p.m. in Schine 304 A, B and C, will feature Kim Dill, executive director of SAGE Upstate; Elizabethe Payne, director of the Q Center; Gewanter; Amit Taneja, associate director of the LGBT Resource Center; and Tad Mack, past school board member in Henrietta, N.Y.
The evening’s “Rock the ‘Cuse OUT,” held from 8-10 p.m. in the Jabberwocky, is co-presented by Pride Union and the LGBT Resource Center. It will feature new music with political and social meaning.
To learn more about Rock the Vote or to register to vote, visit http://rockthevote.org.