Perspective: Time for Modification of Our Nation

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Statistics have shown that young people have the lowest voter turnout rate compared to other age demographics. But IUPUI students are determined to change this.

On Wednesday, the Division of Student Affairs and the Multicultural Center co-hosted IUPUI's first "March to the

Students join up for March to the Polls, encouraging students to vote in the upcoming elections.

Polls" to encourage students to vote and to promote political participation. Approximately 50 students, including those who knew of the event and those who spontaneously stopped by, lined up at Taylor Courtyard to march with their peers. After crimson red t-shirts with the hashtag “Jagsvote,” “Spot me at the polls” buttons, and free pizza were distributed among us, we began our march to the City-County Building.

With the campus to our backs and the center of downtown Indianapolis ahead of us, we marched. We crossed through Military Park, which was starting to show off its autumn transformation, and passed the Canal, with its bright blue water that reflects the clouds above. While we were approaching the Circle City Mall, the chanting began. The sea of bodies made it difficult to determine who exactly initiated the chants, but we could certainly hear them. A woman's voice yelled, “When I say ‘go,’ you say, ‘vote’,” and we willingly followed her instructions, receiving looks and even high fives from other pedestrians. When we passed the Monument Circle, a man's voice in our crowd soon followed suit by shouting, “Show me what democracy looks like!”, to which we triumphantly responded, “This is what democracy looks like!” The march was truly

Jazzy walks with students during the March to the Polls.

empowering and significant. As student Alexus Hunt, 20, a participant in the march, claimed, “Your vote really does matter…and the stakes are too high to not take every opportunity to get involved.”

Once we arrived to the City-Counting Building, we formed a single line, snaking outside of the building, to be ushered inside the room where volunteers checked our proper identification documents. Then, we were allowed into the polling room.

To the left were people assisting voters seal their ballots and place them in the dropbox, and the rest of the room was filled with voting kiosks, the actual screens shielded from obvious view by the voter and small American flags attached on each side. As we selected our candidates, one of the people helping seal ballots occasionally yelled, “First-time voter!” and rung a small office bell, to which the other volunteers clapped and cheered. This enthusiasm was appreciated among us students, many of whom were voting for their first times.

Student participating in March to the Polls.

Stepping outside and into the warm sun and fall breeze, I felt empowered. I just took “an opportunity to advocate for issues that are important to me,” as Danielle Tate, Coordinator for the Norman Brown Diversity and Leadership Scholarship Program, described voting. Tate and Niki Messmore, Coordinator for the Division of Student Affairs’ Civic Engagement program, spearheaded the idea of IUPUI’s first March to the Polls after discussing ways to increase voter engagement on campus, implementing the national movement “#VoteTogether” by promoting “#JagsVote.” Tate also described voting to be an especially important experience to her “as a black woman, [to which] voting is a right that has been historically denied...for generations.” Thus, this march allowed Tate, and dozens of other IUPUI participants, to fulfill their passion for voting, initiating modification in our nation.

If you missed the March to the Polls, do not fret. You can still make an impact - vote before or on Nov. 6 and keep yourself updated about political current events, both local and national!

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