Student groups prepare for the election

Political student group leaders answer questions about how they’ve prepared for the election, and why they think students should vote.


Cleo Krejci

A man enters the building at Van Cleave Park, one of several polling locations around the University of Minnesota, to vote in Minnesota’s primary elections on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.

by Karisa Erickson

The Minnesota Daily emailed or spoke with four University of Minnesota political student groups about the upcoming election and how they are preparing for it.

Undergraduate Political Science Association — Benjamin Hernandez, President

What are some things that your organization has been doing to prepare for this election?

“We are co-hosting an event with the Minnesota Urban Studies Association to inform students about the candidates and how to register and vote! We want students to be aware of these processes and what’s at stake.”

Why is it important for students to vote?

“We hold ideals of equality and inclusivity as given when those were not necessarily taken for granted a few decades ago. One of the best ways to begin exerting our power is by voting. Whether you are disenchanted with the system, or you think we might be heading in the right direction: Vote!”

College Democrats — Carter Yost, Vice President

What are some things that your organization has been doing to prepare for this election?

“We’ve gone and done door knocking, phone banking, text banking, post card writing and social media campaigns so that young people are participating and are excited about getting engaged in the process.”

Why is it important for students to vote?

“It’s entirely possible that young people, and students specifically, are going to be the margin on these ballot questions. Issues like housing affordability and rent stabilization hit close to home for many people on or near campus.”

Minnesota College Republicans — Nia Moore, State Chair

What are some things that your organization has been doing to prepare for this election?

“The Minnesota College Republicans have been aggressively organizing in preparation for the upcoming election. We’ve recently become re-affiliated with the Republican Party of Minnesota, and have implemented an advisory board consisting of members from both the State Legislature and Congress. We’ve established a new 501(c)(4) to fund campus activism and significantly increase our numbers of ‘boots-on-the-ground.’ Our priorities are amplifying the conservative message on college campuses across the state and electing our Republican candidates to office.”

Why is it important for students to vote?

“It is incredibly important for students to vote because legislation passed will determine the state and structure of the economy as we enter the workforce post-grad. Legislation passed will determine the culture of the society we’ll ultimately build and raise our future families in.”

Minnesota Bipartisan Issues Group — Cullen Hill, Vice President

Has your organization been campaigning?

“We have hosted discussions on the future of policing at the University, Minneapolis, and the nation at large, but these are done in a manner that fosters open dialogue from people from both sides of the debate and in a way that opens our members up to understanding the nuances, similarities and differences between the two.”

Why is it important for students to vote?

“We think that voting is one of the most effective means to express these opinions and is something that we strongly support. Additionally, we believe that encouraging dialogue from people from all sides of the political spectrum makes a more well-informed and politically engaged voter and citizen.”

These interviews were edited for length.