TAPP, ASUM register 700 students for midterm election
With voter registration now over, TAPP and ASUM turn their efforts to educating the campus about the election and contemporary political issues.
Oct. 14, 2014
The deadline for voter registration in Missouri was Oct. 8. Efforts by the Associated Students of the University of Missouri and Tigers Advancing Political Participation registered 700 MU students to vote in November’s midterm election.
From now until Election Day, Nov. 4, TAPP is focusing on voter education.
“It’s important for students to vote as students and as young people,” said Trey Sprick, ASUM campus president and TAPP founder. “Our interests are often underrepresented in government, but when a lot of us vote, that becomes less so.”
Last week, TAPP hosted a Hunger Games-themed event titled “The Candidate Games,” where attendees learned about the candidates on the ballot.
The event was intended to increase the political literacy of students on campus, TAPP president Zack Nolan said.
“It’s important to have that on campus because these are students’ lives, and sometimes they don’t realize that,” he said.
Representatives from TAPP also presented in Speakers Circle, residence halls and Freshman Interest Group classes, explaining the importance of voting and registering students to vote.
Sprick said TAPP will also hold an event Nov. 3 on Lowry Mall, “providing last minute resources for people to educate themselves about what’s going to be on the ballot the following day and helping people make a plan to vote.”
“It’s important to be involved, even if you’ve missed the opportunity to register to vote in this election,” he said. “Civic engagement absolutely does not stop after Election Day.”
TAPP’s education committee holds a variety of community outreach presentations. TAPP education director and Maneater staff member Daniela Vidal said the efforts aim to convince students that their vote matters.
“Everything affects you; you don’t live in a vacuum,” Vidal said. “Whether or not you realize it, there are policies that are affecting your life in some way, shape or form.”
TAPP rebranded itself at the end of the spring 2014 semester by changing its acronym from Tigers Against Partisan Politics to Tigers Advancing Political Participation. It also merged with ASUM and became the education arm of the organization, Nolan said.
“We decided that the missions of TAPP and ASUM were so far aligned that we could function better together,” TAPP Vice President Chris Hanner said. “We are now able to reach out to more students and have a bigger impact on the MU campus than ever before. Members of both organizations have had a very positive reaction in regards to the results of this merger.”
ASUM works to represent student issues at the state capital and campus by urging students to participate in issues that impact them, such as the upcoming election.
“The best thing they can do is to read up on what ballot issues are going to be voted on and who is running in their home county or home state,” Vidal said. “The most important thing is to not be detached from it inside of our ‘Mizzou bubble.’ It’s so easy to get caught up in that.”
Students can vote at the Boone County Government Center at Ninth and Ash streets on Election Day, Sprick said.
“This is the most equal way of taking part in government. Voting is voting,” he said. “Everyone’s vote counts the same. Barack Obama’s vote, when he casts it in November, is going to count the exact same as mine. And that’s a really important thing to remember.”
Vidal said mobilizing students to participate in elections is crucial to the community and nation.
“A component of voting ... is that not only are you caring for yourself, but you’re caring for your neighbor,” she said. “That’s what keeps democracy together. There are issues that people get very passionate about, and voting is an outlet to express opinions about those particular issues.”