Let Your Vote Roar registers students to vote
The campaign registered 5,000 students.
May. 03, 2013
A prevalent student movement this school year was the voter registration initiative, Let Your Vote Roar.
The initiative included events that educated students about politics and voter registration drives, which registered more than 5,000 MU students to vote.
Let Your Vote Roar was the 2013 voter registration plan for the university, and Vice Chancellor Cathy Scroggs gave the responsibility of voter registration to the Associated Students of the University of Missouri. The duty was then given to Roshaunda McLean, the ASUM Election Affairs Delegate at the time, McLean said.
McLean developed a plan that included voter registration at least three times a week in common areas such as Speakers Circle, the MU Student Center and residential halls. ASUM also had registration booths at campus-wide events such as Mizzou After Dark, McLean said.
ASUM worked with the Missouri Students Association, Tigers Against Partisan Politics, Omega Psi Phi, Mizzou College Democrats, Mizzou College Republicans, Alpha Phi Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, MU NAACP and Legion of Black Collegians to co-program events.
“Our goal was to also educate students non partisan-ly,” McLean said. “We want students to be registered, first of all, and secondly to make sure that when they vote, they’re making an informed decision. That goes from voting at the municipal level, like City Council, commissioners, also voting for different state representatives, different senators, (and) knowing their stance on student-related issues and also for the presidential election.”
When she was a sophomore, McLean was appointed president of Mizzou Change Today, which also worked on voter registration. ASUM and Mizzou Change Today collaborated, and the campus director of ASUM appointed her Elections Affairs Delegate. MSA Senate elected McLean as ASUM Campus President in October.
“Once I became really involved with ASUM, that’s when my adviser told me we have a duty to facilitate voter registration for the student body,” McLean said. “That’s why I stayed over the summer, worked with so many faculty and staff and professors and student organizations. I had this vision, and they provided me the resources to facilitate this vision.”
McLean said that she hopes that Let Your Vote Roar will continue three years from now and also make improvements, such as getting more students involved in ASUM, providing absentee ballots and getting more volunteers.
TAPP President Camille Hosman said TAPP teamed up with ASUM because the two shared common goals like educating people.
“I really enjoyed being a part of something that benefits a lot of students,” Hosman said.
ASUM Vice President Theodore Hammers said the movement helped make sure out-of-state and out-of-county students had their voices heard.
“It’s helping them be politically engaged as possible as they want to be, even though they are from other places,” Hammers said.
Hammers also said he would love to see this movement happen in the future, and although it was successful, he would like to see voter registration start in the summer during freshmen orientation for a higher turnout.
He also said he was grateful for all those who got involved.
“(I want to thank) our executive director Corbin Evans, our amazing adviser Pablo (Mendoza), MSA, Omega Psi Phi, TAPP, Roshaunda (McLean), and everyone else who helped make it happen,” Hammers said. “Most importantly, it couldn’t have been the success that it was without Mizzou’s incredibly politically informed and engaged student body.”
McLean said the voter registration drive event was successful, registering about 5,000 students. She also said there were hundreds of students at their events, including debate watch parties and a before election-day rally. ASUM also handed out nonpartisan pamphlets comparing student issues of different candidates on the ballot.
“People involved in politics like to make the statement that students are apathetic, that they don’t care about the political process,” McLean said. “I beg to differ because once students became educated and once they saw that registering to vote is important – and seeing me and (Hammers) out there every week – in their mind they start to think that, ‘Wow, I should really care about this, I should really get involved.’”