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#TurnOutForWhat documents why UR community votes

November 3, 2014

This midterm election year, voting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 4. In an effort to increase awareness of and participation in the democratic process, the University of Rochester’s Committee for Political Engagement (CPE) held a two-day photo shoot on October 28-29 called #TurnOutForWhat.

The goal of the campaign is to document and share photos of Rochester students, faculty, and staff identifying what issues compel them to vote.

The campaign’s hashtag plays on Lil Jon’s hit song “Turn Down for What.” It was started in October by Rock the Vote, a national organization that works to get young people active in the voting process.

CPE, a non-partisan student initiative under the Rochester Center for Community Leadership, hosted its photo shoot on October 28 and 29 and posted the images to its Facebook page.

Man holding a sign that reads I Turn Out to Vote because I can.woman holding a sign that reads I Turn Out To Vote because we need change from both inside and outside the system.man holding a sign that reads I Turn Out For equal access to a great education. woman holds sign that reads I Turn Out to Vote To Make a Change



The participants highlighted a range of issues important to them, from the general to the personal, including education reform, the economy, gun safety, and net neutrality.

Committee member Jennifer Hansler ’15 says that it’s essential for students to be politically engaged. “We are the second largest voting bloc in the United States, but we don’t use that collective power to leverage our demands,” she explains. “We need to hold our elected officials accountable, and the most effective way to do that is through political activism.”

The committee also organizes voter registration drives, forums with elected officials, debate watch events, political activism training, professor panels, and trips to presidential inaugurations.

“A lot of young people care more about the issues themselves rather than conforming to party lines,” says Riva Yeo ’18, a political science major and CPE member. “We want to show people that change can happen—and that it begins with your vote.”

Where do I vote?
For students registered to vote in person in Rochester, the University’s polling place is Helen Wood Hall, home of the School of Nursing and located across the street from Strong Hospital. On November 4th, the blue line bus runs every 20 minutes from the ITS stop behind Rush Rhees Library with a stop in front of Helen Wood Hall. The address is 255 Crittenden Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14620.

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