This Election Day, use the buddy system

Mitt Romney believes we college students are a lost generation because of our assumed apathy. I believe he is wrong because of the spirit I see in the Millennial Generation. I had a moment while registering voters on campus that made me reflect on how important and influential our closest friends are in our lives.

Editor’s Note: College Democrats at the University will contribute a weekly column Tuesdays until the presidential election in November.

A group of young, eager students walked around to apartments to register other students as voters. When you are canvassing, the response is normally neutral if someone answers the door. Several students who answered their doors were registered at their current apartment addresses, but instead of telling us this information and shutting the door, they turned to their roommates and asked them to register.

Friends registering friends is the only way our voices will be heard on Nov. 6. By encouraging all of our friends and loved ones to register and vote this year, we can combat the political donations that will be trying to buy this election. Money is pouring into political ads, events and products to sway voters’ opinions.

No amount of money can dilute the most effective and important trait of our community: grassroots efforts.

This election year, everyone should make a goal that will help prove that our generation is not lost and that we will be heard. Do not register to vote alone. Do not vote alone. Much like the advice we receive about walking at night alone, it is always important to have a buddy to go on an adventure with you. Everyone should register 10 people to vote at their current campus addresses, and everyone should bring those 10 people with them to the polls. This year, early voting will begin on Oct. 22 in the Illini Union on the 3rd floor, Room 317. It doesn’t matter where you live on campus, as long as you are registered at your campus address you can vote in the Union.

If the students of the University make the commitment to never vote alone, then our generation will make the impact I know is possible on Nov. 6. There is hope in numbers. Vote with friends and be an agent of change. You don’t have to be a superhero to make a difference; you just have to be a good friend and a good citizen who will not allow apathy and cynicism to take over our campus. Friends don’t let friends stay home on Election Day.

*Shana Harrison*

president of Illini Democrats and senior in LAS