Politics, Freebirds and dancing typically don’t enter spheres of influence, but tonight the unlikely tripod will encourage smarter, savvier and less apathetic voters to perform their civic duty.
The event, hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, will feature lectures from two members of the League of Women Voters, endorsement announcements from Campus Democrats and College Republicans for Tuesday’s election, and – for the first 200 students at the door – free food from Freebirds, Alpha Phi Alpha member and fourth-year business economics major Tim Finney said. A free dance in the UCen Hub will follow the forum at 10 p.m.
The program, which begins at 8 p.m. in Corwin Pavilion, is part of the “A Voteless People is a Hopeless People” program, which was originally established by Alpha Phi Alpha in the 1930s as a way to educate African-Americans who had the right to vote – but were discouraged from doing so because of poll taxes, threats of reprisal and special standards imposed to prevent their participation.
Speakers from the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, will present information regarding upcoming election issues and the voting process in their “Voters Service/Citizen Education” lecture, according to Sheila Kamhi, president of the League’s Action and Advocacy program. Afterward, the speakers will hold a nonpartisan pro/con forum regarding the different propositions on the upcoming ballot, in an effort to encourage informed political participation by UCSB students.
“The public may not always be informed on certain propositions they’re voting on,” Kamhi said. “As long as we have the time and energy, we’ll continue to hold these forums to educate the community.”
Following the speakers from the League of Women Voters, representatives from Campus Democrats and the College Republicans will discuss and inform students about the candidates and propositions they support on the upcoming ballot, and Associated Students Program Board will hand out informational fliers describing the election propositions.