SMC lines up events for Rock the Vote Festival
Liz Harter | Wednesday, September 17, 2008
When Saint Mary’s students walked past the parking lot in between McCandless Hall and the Student Center on Tuesday they were met with the sight of a red, white and blue bus with the words “Voter’s Self Defense System, Project Vote Smart” on the side.
The bus, a part of www.votesmart.org , travels the country with information about the Web site and organization which provides non-partisan, unbiased information on over 40,000 candidates running in local, state and national elections, arrived at the College five hours early and left three hours ahead of schedule due to a miscommunication between Saint Mary’s and the Vote Smart organizers.
“It was a miscommunication between us, we need to be in Indianapolis tomorrow morning which will be a three hour drive or so,” Bob Kastan, the deputy media director of Vote Smart said.
The bus, which had come through South Bend before, had made its way to the College from the University of Toledo and was on its way to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).
“Last time we came to South Bend we came to Notre Dame but we try to get to as many campuses as possible so we wanted to come to Saint Mary’s this time,” Kastan said. “It happened to coincide with this Rock the Vote festival so it worked out well.”
Kastan said quite a few students visited the bus while it was on campus who were interested in finding out about Governor Sarah Palin, Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain but he knew many students would not be able to visit because they were in class.
“A few people came to us interested in their state candidates because we have information on candidates running in local and state elections in all 50 states,” Kastan said.
The Vote Smart Bus was on campus as a part of the College’s second Super Tuesday event. Every Tuesday through Election Day, Saint Mary’s will host events aimed to inform students about the issues about the election.
Yesterday’s event also included a Rock the Vote festival in the Student Center atrium during which students could get information from the College Republicans, the College Democrats, the Political Science Club and the League of Women Voters, among others.
The College Democrats saw a large group of students, both “hardcore” Democrats and people who were curious about the Democratic Party, visit their booth, which excited Missy Waik, the club’s secretary.
“It’s great that people feel as if their vote counts, which it absolutely does, which can help improve America for the better,” Waik said.
The College Republicans also had a lot of people visit their table, though most of their visitors were self-confessed Republicans.
“A lot of our club members brought Republican friends who aren’t necessarily in the club but wanted to register or vote or get more information,” club vice president Caitlin Sullivan said.