About 60 attendees were on hand Monday at the Student Union as the Political Action Commitee of theVSU NAACP joined with the Student Government Association and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity to host a rally with the goal of imploring students to exercise their right to vote.
They invited the College Democrats and College Republicans to explain the most important issues in the upcoming election, including healthcare, jobs and the current economy. Both parties agreed that there needed to be big change, but they seemed to have very different approaches on to change.
The Democrats and Republicans agreed that their need to be changes to help students while in school and when they graduate.
Keith Brown, NAACP chairman, political action committee, helped create this event because the younger generations vote in very small numbers, and their issues were not being heard.
“Eighteen and nineteen-year-olds do not get out and vote; we don’t make a difference, hence we are left out,” Brown said.
In the presentation, two quotes were used to represent the theme of the night: “If you don’t vote you don’t matter,” and “Decisions are made by those who show up.”
Many students came to the event, including students the from Columbus State University chapter of NAACP. Linda Iruka, the Central district coordinator for NAACP Georgia, was among the Columbus students.
“I think this event was really helpful in the sense that it talks to the students and tells them how important it is for their voices to be heard,” Iruka said.
Keith Lee, candidate for Valdosta City Council At Large, also attended the rally. Lee took a stand about the importance of voting.
“What I like about this event tonight and seeing students here is hopefully something has been spurred, a movement has been started. If one student just tells one of their friends, that can grow,” Lee said.
“I felt good about it [rally],” said Jessica Williams, junior biology major. “It actually turned more into a debate than just an awareness type of thing, but all in all it was good and very informative.”
Some students left the rally with a better understanding of the issues to equip them for the polls on Nov. 2.
“I believe that everybody should vote because a vote-less people is a hopeless people,” Caleb Johnson, senior mass media major, said.