Voting Like An Eagle

Va. Legislator, Harrisonburg Mayor Preach Importance of Voting

Felicia Childress, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – Bridgewater College held its second voter registration booth for students to register to vote, or for those who are already registered, to sign an absentee ballot. An absentee ballot is a ballot that is completed before an election by a voter who is unable to be at the polls where they are currently registered. The booth was run by the college’s Republican Club.The club ended the night with a total of 80 registered voters and absentee ballots.

Jacob Neff, junior communication major and president of the Bridgewater Republicans Club, partnered with Nas DeMoss, vice president of the black student association and senior resident advisor of Wakeman Hall. Neff and DeMoss joined with Dr. Stanley Galloway, English professor and director of convocations to bring a convocation entitled, Your View, Your Voice, Your Vote to the college.

The Bridgewater Republicans Club meets with local elected officials, such as Congressman Bob Goodlatte who represents the 6th district, on the importance of getting involved and volunteering for local and statewide campaigns.

Neff stated that the club is about, “learning what being a Republican means and what being a Democrat means.” The Republicans Club is not limited to only the Republican party, Democrats are also welcome. The club serves as place to discover where one is when it comes to politics.

Neff, says that, “voting as a millennial is one of the most important things we can do; we’re told that when we’re eighteen we can register to vote, but few of us do.” Neff expressed his opinion that especially within this presidential cycle being as contentious as it is, it’s unheard of for any American to go without letting their voice be heard via ballot.

Speaking at the convocation was Virginia Delegate Steve Landes and Mayor Christopher Jones of Harrisonburg. Landes represents the 25th house district in Virginia house of delegates, has served in the house since 1996, and currently resides in Weyer’s Cave.

Jones, born and raised in Danville, Va., studied at James Madison University receiving a degree in sociology with a minor in business, and was president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored people.

Landes broke his speech down into three major questions. The first, “Why is it important to vote in college, or why is it so important for young people to vote?” Second, “Why is it important to vote in Virginia” and third, “Why is voting and voicing your opinion as a young person part of being a good citizen?” In short, Landes explained to students that it is important to vote because it is part of their citizenly duty.

Jones continued stressing the importance of voting as a millennial. He also related to students by bringing the conversation to Bridgewater’s campus and why voting affected them not just as a student. Jones stated, “You have your own voice…It’s important to leave a legacy, wouldn’t it be a great thing to know to prospective students that not only is it important to be an Eagle, but it’s important to vote as such.”

During the convocation, sophomore and environmental science major Devin Lattimore included that “It’s good to see important local elected officials connecting with students on a personal level.”

As Landes explained further, it is up to the American people to save government funded programs such as social security and Virginia’s TAG Grant, that impacts many of Bridgewater’s students. Voting not only impacts the country, it impacts any community as a whole.

To conclude the convocation, DeMoss left the students with, “Your view matters, your vote counts.”