Election 2012: Students exercise their right to vote together

Darien Green, a WKU senior from Louisville, leads a group of WKU students to local polling places as a project for his political science class on Tuesday afternoon. “I wanted to make it possible for students to vote no matter the circumstances and to create an awareness of voting,” Green said.

Monta Reinfelde

Campus was emptier and quieter than usual on Tuesday morning as students enjoyed their day off. But, closer to 11 a.m., a group of students started to fill up Centennial Mall.

This gathering was motivated by the presidential election and promotion of importance for students to exercise their right to vote by walking to polling places as a group.   

The initiator of this event was Louisville senior Darien Green. He gathered people from Black Student Alliance, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Phi Alpha, Mt. Zion College Ministry as well as Amazing Tones of Joy to make this event happen.

The walk was also a class project for Green and Indianapolis junior Simone Smith.

“Darien actually came up with the campaign, and I thought it’s great,” Smith said. “It’s really an assignment so hopefully I will get an ‘A.’ I think we went above and beyond with this event.”   

Madisonville sophomore Ashleigh Foster was the first one there to welcome all the voters.

“Black Student Alliance is pretty much an organization for the minority,” Foster said. “We are the voice of minority, so we host different events — majority of them free — so the minority can get involved. Sometimes it’s hard for them to find their place here on campus, so we just have an organization that makes them feel welcomed and makes them feel that they belong somewhere.”

Foster said that the Black Student Alliance is aware that there are a lot of freshmen on campus, and for most of them, this will be the first time to vote. The event’s goal was to help out anyone who didn’t know where to vote or how to do it.

“It’s an important election,” Foster said. “Everybody needs to vote.”

Atlanta senior Michelle Gilstrap also participated in a presidential election for the first time this year. Gilstrap said she was pumped and couldn’t wait to cast her vote.

“I think every vote counts,” Gilstrap said. “I mean, if we don’t vote we can’t say anything. We don’t have any right to judge politics if we didn’t have strength to get up and vote ourselves.”