By Jennifer ReynoldsMaroon- News Staff
With the presidential election approaching and campaigns kicking it into high gear, the political atmosphere is highly charged. This rush of political awareness has not escaped Colgate, as is exemplified by this week’s mock presidential election. Sponsored by the Political Student Network (PSN), the election allowed students to cast an early vote for either President George W. Bush or Senator John Kerry through the MyColgate portal. “The mock election is designed both to obtain a sense of the Colgate student political climate and to increase interest in the actual election,” principal organizer of the mock election and a political intern at the COVE Bob Filbin said. The results of the election will be announced at Saturday’s New York State Political Awareness and Networking Day, which will feature participants from other schools in the area. Along with the results, there will be several other events designed to get students more involved in and aware of politics. Starting at 3 p.m. in Love Auditorium, there will be a debate between challenger Bob Johnson and incumbent Republican John McHugh, who are running in New York’s 23rd district. Other planned events include talks about campaign finance reform, college students’ votes and the Help America Vote Act of 2002. Colgate groups will also play a role, with the Debate Society holding an event on how campaign issues relate to college-age students. Furthermore, the Barge and Donovan’s Pub will host discussions about future multi-school events between political interest groups. The day of political activity will be capped off with a concert at the Palace Theater with State Radio, featuring the former lead singer of Dispatch. Filbin hopes that this election and day of political events will help gauge Colgate’s political temperature. “During my years at Colgate, many people have speculated about the conservatism/liberalism of the student body, but I have never seen a quantitative examination,” Filbin said. “The mock election was designed to end such speculation.” The mock election and Saturday’s events will hopefully spur activity among the student body. In addition, students will acquire a better sense of the important issues affecting this year’s election.