A.S. hosts ‘We the People’ to bring politics to students

Associated Students registered more than 100 new voters at their “We The People” event on Oct. 4 to inform students with a variety of political parties and different propositions to learn from.

A.S. made some changes from last year’s “Big Politics” by bringing the political parties to the students as well as offering students a longer time period to register to vote.

The time frame changed to an all day event, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with voter registration ending at  6 p.m, giving a students who are on campus at different times of the day, a chance to register.

A man dressed as Uncle Sam on stilts encourages students to register to vote for the “We The People” event at Bayramian Lawn on Oct. 4. Photo credit: Michael Cheng / Contributor

“We are trying to at least get a 10 percent bump in our voter registration population from this event alone. So, that is why we are going longer,” said Ryan Storey, chair of legislative affairs for A.S.

There were 45 booths spread out on Bayramian lawn, five of them being vendors, such as lemonade, kettle corn, free wax hands and several jewelry booths.

“We tried to keep it fair and equal on what political parties and representatives we invited,” said Katie Schmitt, grad assistant for A.S.

Republicans and Democrats were in attendance, as well as the Green Party. Propositions 34, 33 and 37 also took the opportunity to inform students.

“We brought as many political ideals, we got as many candidates, as many people who have any stance to come out and give the information to students,” Storey said. “Instead of having them go somewhere for it, we decided to bring it to campus for everybody.”

“We The People” was geared toward bringing awareness to students about the 2012 Presidential Election.

“So many people don’t know a lot about the props, don’t know about the candidates, and don’t know anything about the election in general. We hope they get more educated and excited, and get people wanting to go out and vote too,” Storey said.

Matthew Palmer, 24, is a grad student majoring in Polish History, believes students should participate in this event and understand what is going on for the election.

“Well, hopefully if students actually show up and care about it they will be able to interact with various parties and be able to see not just the two major parties, democrats and republicans but actually see the other varied spectrum of politics,” Palmer said.  “For instance the libertarian club, the green club and the campus conservative club. So, hopefully they will be able to expand their political horizons on what is going on in this election.”

Even though Palmer is a libertarian he has to register as a republican.

“In order to vote for the republican primaries in California you have to be a republican. So, even though I’m a libertarian I have to register as a republican so I can vote for certain things,” Palmer said.

The major issue for Palmer is the third party candidates not participating in the debates.

Maria Bautista, 28, is a communication studies major who renewed her voting registration for her location to be closer.

“It is convenient because it is at school. You don’t have to go out of your way to find a place,” Bautista said.

Bautista will be voting yes on proposition 37.

“I am trying to tell everybody and I tell them it is important to know what we are putting in our body,” Bautista said. “If we are labeling it then we have a choice whether to eat that or not.”

Tyler Hawking, 21, is a psychology major who believed the event to be very informational.

“You have registration forms to get people to vote. It’s so easy. The guy will mail in the form for us. It makes no excuses for you not to vote,” Hawking said.

The issues that stand out to her in this election are the tax cuts on middle class people, healthcare and new jobs.

Tatianna Gutierrez, 18, is a business management major who focused on learning about the propositions at the event.

“It helps me know what I am voting for. I don’t think a lot of people focus on that, they just focus on the main presidential elections and not any of the propositions,” Gutierrez said. “I don’t think that’s right. We end up putting laws no one would agree with it.”