Michael Walden

The United States’ international reputation is deteriorating and 700 billion dollars has just been promised to bail out distressed financial institutions. November 4, 2008 could possibly be one of the most important days in recent political history. On November 4, Americans around the country will select the president who will lead this country for the next four years. The importance of this moment is by no means lost on Colgate University students. ALANA, SAVE, Theta Chi, College Republicans, College Democrats, SLF, CLSI, Colgate Speaking Union, Democracy Matters, SGA, CJU, Women’s Studies, the Broad Street Council and Students for Obama have collaborated on a comprehensive initiative to encourage students to vote.

“We need to be conscious of the issues and informed to make the best decision possible,” Outreach/Programming Coordinator Shevorne Martin of the ALANA Cultural Center said.

The initiative began at ALANA’s Kick-Off Barbeque, where SAVE representatives were at hand to help students register to vote. Viewing parties were set up for the first three debates. The first two, held in the ALANA Cultural Center Lounge, brought over 50 students together to watch the candidates’ verbal duel. The third debate was sponsored by Theta Chi in Donovan’s Pub on Tuesday, October 7 and featured the introduction of the official voting initiative t-shirts (before press-time).

If nothing else, the voting initiative is working for Colgate in two ways: it makes students more aware of political issues and it brings diverse groups of students into contact with each other.

“Colgate Votes 2008 is achieving what it set out to do through exciting events that spark conversations, ideas and [bringing] people together from all walks of life,” Martin said.

The goals set forth by ALANA’s mission statement are certainly being achieved as well. The Center is being utilized now than any other time in its history. It is truly fulfilling its duty as a comfort zone for Colgate University students.