Letters to the Editor

Editor:

I write to you with great concern and disappointment regarding your Nov. 14 article on the perceived lack of political activity at UCSD during this past election. A profoundly large number of students played key, active roles in this current election cycle. Political groups on campus flourished with the heightened awareness that the election brought. Thousands of students registered to vote on campus and showed up to the polls on Election Day, yet the Guardian, for whatever reason, failed to report on such activities.

With a current membership of over 150, the College Democrats at UCSD organized and mobilized an unprecedented political awareness campaign on campus this past year. The College Democrats began a voter registration campaign at the beginning of fall quarter and registered students to vote on Library Walk every day for nearly a month straight. The College Republicans and Students for Nader also participated in successful voter registration efforts.

We at the College Democrats were able to register over 1,300 students, faculty and staff. Resident Advisors, student organizations and even professors asked representatives of the different political organizations to speak at various voter information sessions.

A number of UCSD students were even hired by various local candidates and issue-campaigns during this past election cycle. And yet, the Guardian, fully aware that these activities were occurring, failed to report on any of these highly visible and important events.

There were a number of political rallies and activities at UCSD during this past election cycle as well. UCSD was a particular hot spot, attracting local, national and international press coverage of the various events it held.

The College Democrats brought author and activist Gloria Steinem, now Congresswoman Susan Davis, and now Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe to UCSD for a lunch-time rally. The A.S. Council sponsored a debate between congressional candidates Susan Davis and Brian Bilbray. Students for Nader welcomed the Green Party U.S. Senate candidate Medea Benjamin to campus, and the College Republicans scheduled Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Campbell to visit campus; all in an honest and noble attempt to raise student political awareness and participation on campus.

On Election Day, the College Democrats organized nearly 100 students wearing bright yellow t-shirts and placed them throughout campus and in phone banks encouraging students to vote and be part of the process. As a result of our mobilization efforts, there was a dramatic increase in on-campus voter turnout compared to previous election cycles.

And yet, the Guardian claims that there was no political activity on campus and that student turnout was nearly nonexistent. To say that political activity lacked on campus is simply false statement and an indication that the Guardian is desperately out of touch with the pulse of the student body. Instead of filling your pages with claims that left-wing bigots are running rampant throughout campus, I would encourage your writers and editorial staff in the future to report on the long hours and positive work that the various student political organizations devote toward breaking the stereotype of youth apathy toward the political process.

The students of UCSD should be commended for their participation in this past election. Whether they simply made it out to the polls on Election Day, or sacrificed countless hours toward an issue they were passionate about, the students of UCSD demonstrated an inspirational spirit and an unwavering commitment to their community, their nation and the political process.

Terry Schanz

President,

UCSD College Democrats

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