BY Olivia LaRosa
PioneerVote is a student-led campaign aiming to raise awareness of political issues at a local, state and federal level.
Sacred Heart started this campaign as an educational program, at first to educate students on political issues. Now, the program has expanded its goal to getting more students to register to vote because, according to them, the majority of our student body is not involved politically.
Three students, Carlos Ruiz, Meridith Kennedy and Alessandra Leone, are in charge of the campaign.
“Voting is important because it’s your civic duty as a citizen and it gives you a voice in the political world. The slogan of this campaign is ‘No Vote, No Voice’ and this slogan is very much true,” said Carlos Ruiz. “You really cannot complain about issues happening politically if you are not utilizing your right to vote to work on making a change.”
Students at our university are encouraged to vote and the campaign has made it easier for them to do so.
By going to the PioneerVote website or picking up a form from them, you can easily register and have your voice heard.
According to the Sacred Heart website, “Home is where the heart is, and Sacred Heart University will be your home for the next four years. There could be a lot of political changes that will affect you while you spend your time here.”
Last Wednesday, PioneerVote held an event that was part of the Human Journey Colloquia Series. This event was called “Your Vote Determines Your Future: Be The Change” and featured Dr. Gary Rose and the students of PioneerVote. Attendees took part in an open-forum discussion.
During the event, six issues were covered. Two issues were local, two state and two federal. Each issue was presented by Dr. Gary Rose and then a discussion was held.
The first local issue was in regards to the possibility that there could be a law passed only allowing three residents per rented house in the North End of Bridgeport.
This means if four people wanted to rent a house together, there would need to be a license. Students may have a harder time finding a house and may have to pay more money for their rent due to living with less people.
Throughout the discussion students talked about how they contribute back to the community in many ways and how passing this law would hinder the number of people able to live off-campus.
This subject hit close to home, as many students currently reside in rented homes in that area.
The second local issue was merging schools in wealthy and poor districts to create equal educational opportunities.
The first state issue was implementing tolls on main highways in Connecticut to increase state revenue. Opinions differed on whether this was a good idea based upon the concern that the money could go to something besides what it is supposed to go towards (infrastructure).
The second state issue was legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Connecticut. Many were in favor of the legalization of the drug because it could be a source of revenue and other states like Massachusetts have legalized it already.
The first federal issue was whether or not manufacturers of assault rifles should be subject to lawsuits if a person uses one of their rifles to commit a mass shooting.
The second federal issue was healthcare reform and whether or not providing free healthcare would benefit the economy.
Overall, the event explained to students the importance of registering to vote, so that all of our voices are heard.
No vote, no voice.