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Legends to host registration drive

Yahn, Stephanie | Thursday, March 18, 2004

Free food, a live band, giveaways and the opportunity to register to vote will kick off Notre Dame’s very own Rock the Vote Thursday at Legends from 9 p.m. to midnight. Co-organizers Jazmin Garcia, senior class president, and Peter Quaranto helped create the Notre Dame program affiliated with the non-profit organization Rock the Vote. The campaign came about when the Center for Social Concerns, the Senior Class Council and the College Democrats and College Republicans joined together in hopes of “increasing political participation in civic engagement” said Quaranto. Garcia, along with Colin Taylor of the College Democrats and Brandi Gill of the College Republicans, helped put together the campaign. Its goals are to increase votes through the submission of absentee ballots and make students more politically aware.Typically, 18- to 24-year olds are under-represented at the polls, and there is a general lack of political participation, said Quaranto. He added that the individuals, especially college-aged students are voting less and less. “Notre Dame has typically been a very politically unaware, unengaged campus overall,” Quaranto said. “Notre Dame’s Rock the Vote is trying to counter that by bringing people of different backgrounds together to create a more politically and socially aware culture.”With the current situation in Iraq, the war on terror and other issues, including the economy, Quaranto said this is a pivotal time to get youth interested in voting.The goal of tonight’s event is to have over 1,000 people attend and to register 250 of them. In addition to the opportunity to register or complete an absentee ballot registration, representatives from both the College Democratic and Republican will give students the opportunity to learn about the issues of the upcoming election.While Notre Dame’s Rock the Vote involves a collaboration of groups, the CSC will host two talks as a part of the “fringe” of the campaign. On March 25, at 5 p.m. in 101 Debartolo, Rabbi Michael Lerner will speak on “Spiritual Politics and Social Healing,” and Jim Wallace, founding editor of “Sojourners,” will give a talk entitled “Politics and Values in 2004” at 12:30 p.m. March 31 in the Coleman-Morse Lounge. A debate is also scheduled for April.