San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 5th, 2009
ASG aims for 5,000 registered voters

STAFF REPORT

More than 5,000 voter registration cards are being distributed to campus organizations at Texas State in order to maintain the university’s ongoing political activism. The hope is to register as many citizens as possible before the Oct. 5 deadline.

The College Democrats have already registered citizens across the county and will receive an additional 1,000 cards. The College Republicans will also be given 1,,000 cards. The remaining 3,000 cards will be administered by Associated Student Governement (ASG) as part of its plan to register 5,000 citizens this fall.

While Monday is the last day to register for the November 2009 election, voter registration will continue throughout the school year. As the university  graduates students each year and gains them from incoming classes, ASG tries to register the new voters as soon as possible.

If a student is registered but has moved, the cards need to be updated. If the student is registered in her home town, the information needs to be changed so she can vote in local elections.

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0 thoughts on “ASG aims for 5,000 registered voters

  1. This is great, but I am curious what the university is doing to get students up to speed on the local issues and the various candidates. I know that when I first moved here, I was registered through a similar push at the university. I went and voted, but I didn’t know a whole lot about anything other than the presidential election at the time.

  2. Ditto. It proves up the notion that TXState–SM is making real efforts to show unity in most organized “groups,” two of which exist solely in order to attract people according to how they lean with one of the fervent wing of a party or self-identification on the spectrum of L to C. Thus, for good or ill, a growing number are involved specifically in voting issues. I suspect that a fair fraction of the voting students fall into the syndrome you and I did, of being too wrapped on BEing a student to pay much attention what is going on in the City.

    The University has a second initiative that is becoming
    nearly a passion among students, both for group and individual reasons: to be involved in community service. This allows the opportunity to see at least a fraction of the community, and in some cases to see just a sliver. There are other people and academic disciplines, however, who take their service roles very seriously, and pursue them with vigor. However, more and more groups are creating their own initiatives to pass forward to the City, naming their own liaisons,and back up their campaign with the shadow of all those potential votes behind their lobby. It is part of the same cycle being played out nationwide. Hardly anyplace seems to be very different.

    The Council when I knew it best (20 years) always had members of the College Community Consortium subgroup at the National League of cities. They met with community leaders and their university counterparts to discuss–and once in a while come up with an idea that worked in one or more communities. The emissaries would come back to brief the Council and others. Even the talk at the meetings themselves of real situations in places large and small began almost to repeat itself every year.

    Good or ill, and having some experience with a double burden of University/Community relations for several years, gives one a certain perspective. I confess to my
    personal and subjective perspective, which nearly always leads me back toward the middle of many issues that come up. That makes me almost a counterpart to the poor student who can’t find his/her way for lack of enough”understanding or initiative” to learn what really makes a big, varied group work over time.

    The two main viewpoints are skewed, both student and citizen determinedly wobbling between brute politics and serious social ideas of what “community” means. The roles of both are virtually choreographed in “college towns” nationwide. Go figure.

    That’s why they call them “students.” To one group of them the designation is almost a blessing, to the other a curse. And often the mingling of the two “alien” crowds for the purpose of “getting along,” turns out to have a totally significant symbolic value, which causes the role-playing dialogue to be used for telltale turf marking. Like some married couples, they look each other in the eyes and talk past each other.

    All of San Marcos may be learning to do better, but the raw challenge is still there, and may be for a while. There is a bridge to be crossed, one way or another.

  3. I seem to recall being required to take a “General Studies” course, which really didn’t cover much of any great importance at the time, although that may have been an issue with the professor.

    The course is now (I believe) University Seminar, with the description “University Seminar is an introduction to the nature and aims of university education, with special emphasis on the value of broad learning.”

    Perhaps that course, or something similar, could touch on our local government, issues and elections. I know it is not a great fit based on the description above, but it was a fairly broad course when I took it and these sorts of things could fit in with little effort.

    Aside from the election issues, I talk to students regularly who have basic questions about how various things are handled here – city/county functions, public meetings, utilities, rights and responsibilities for renters, employee rights, unemployment, etc. Most of these students are living on their own for the first time and many of them come from other states (or countries), so what they know may not even apply here.

    You would be amazed (maybe) to hear some of the things that many of us take for granted, which new students struggle with every day, causing significant stress and distraction from actual school work.

    It would be great to see a course that provides some answers to the questions that come up as these students transition from living with their parents, to the dorms, to off-campus living. They would become more informed citizens, have less aggravation (except for the added aggravation that sometimes comes with knowing what is actually going on around here) and might feel more like a part of the larger community as a result.

    The voter registration is a great idea, but it sounds like we both agree that there is much more that could be done, to bring the two communities together.

  4. As the president of the college democrats I can tell you that we have been registering voters on the quad and oct 5 we registered 70 students alone. I have found it to be my duty, as a student leader, to meet with all the democratically minded candidates and speak with them about their views, goals and plans for the city. With this in mind I have been educating our members and students while we’ve been registering them. We will continue educating students about city issues and the candidates that STAND up for students on the council.

  5. I would like to see the city council officials reach out to the students. I know that Chris Jones does but I’ve never seen Gaylord Bose on campus talking to students about what they care about (it could be that I’m not there when he does it…).

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