Students disprove political apathy with voter turnout

Students disprove political apathy with voter turnout (credit: Josh Smith/Forum Editor) Students disprove political apathy with voter turnout (credit: Josh Smith/Forum Editor)

Over the years, Carnegie Mellon students have been perceived as being apathetic about political issues. But students defied that stereotype this election season with a great on-campus voter turnout and active engagement in the elections.

Not only did many students and members of student government get involved during the campaign season by tabling and helping fellow classmates register to vote, but students also actively engaged in voting on campus at the University Center’s Alumni Lounge. Many students also attended the Elections Result Watch Party hosted by Student Body President Will Weiner, Vice President Meela Dudley, and Activities Board Political Speakers.

According to Allegheny County's Elections Division, the Alumni Lounge polling place on campus (Pittsburgh Ward 14, District 7) had 3,269 registered voters, with 44.2 percent of those voters casting ballots.

After the Oakland-Soho and Lower Hills districts, Carnegie Mellon had the third-highest number of registered voters in Allegheny County, and that’s not including students who live off campus and voted off campus.

We were heartened to see students take the time out of their day to cast their votes in this presidential election.
After votes were cast, students continued to follow the election through the Elections Result Watch Party. Rangos Hall was fairly packed throughout the night, with students congregating around tables, trying to do homework while anxiously watching election news coverage.

Although there were some technical difficulties near the beginning of the event, the party helped foster a deeper sense of community among students and actively engaged them through political trivia and prize giveaways.
The gathering made the elections a community event.

When presented with the opportunity, students showed a willingness to come together despite homework, tests, and projects to participate in this nationwide display of democracy. This election season has made us proud to be Carnegie Mellon students.