New student deputies

Yesterday Trinity organizations hosted officials from the Bexar County Elections Department to deputize Trinity students to register voters.

Many organizations on campus came together in the coming months both to register new voters and to encourage students to vote on election day.

“We’ll be partnering with a variety of organizations, including SGA, TDC, BSU, Tigers for Liberty, Tigers for Life, PRIDE and the Texas Freedom Network for Voter Registration Day and throughout the rest of the election cycle,” said Nick Santulli, president of Trinity Progressives.

Santulli is excited that his organization will be working to deputize Trinity students as voter registrars.

“The thing I’m most personally excited about is deputization, which will be this Thursday, September 8. And that’s a training that’s required for anyone in the state of Texas that wants to register voters,” Santulli said.

Jonah Wendt, chief financial officer and field director of Tigers for Liberty, expressed the importance of students being deputized.

“One of the things that led Tigers For Liberty to want to get involved with the voter deputization is that one of the foundations of our country is the idea of one person one vote and we should do what we can do make sure that every American has the ability to voice their opinion on who should lead our nation,” Wendt said.

Melissa Whiteman, junior and biology major, is also supportive of this new initiative to deputize Trinity students as voter registrars.

“I think it’s a cool thing that they’re doing. Being a voter registrar isn’t something that a lot of people really ever think of, or even know what they are, so it’s pretty neat that TProg is doing this,” Whiteman said. “It’s a pretty important part of the system, so I’m glad there are people on campus that are going to be a part of that.”

The decision to host a deputization seminar is new for Trinity, and hopes to increase the number of people who are ultimately registered to vote.

“This will be a big departure from years past, when we haven’t hosted deputization on campus, because now we’ll have a large bank of people who can help register voters. We’re hoping for a large turn out,” Santulli said.

Deputization to register voters is a simple and relatively painless way to become involved with the political process before the election in November.

“I think we can all agree that this is a very important election year, and we should all do our part to be engaged in the process. This is an easy and meaningful way for students and people who are interested to get involved in the political process,” Santulli said.

It is important that members of the Trinity community take advantage of their civic duties and come out to vote.

“I think the right to vote is something that a lot of people take for granted, and it’s important that we get as many people to vote as we can. If you don’t vote, then you have no right to complain when you end up unhappy with whoever does end up getting elected,” Whitman said.

Noah Boriak, sophomore and business major, said he is concerned that student organizations would influence voters as they work to register them.

“I think it’s important that these groups, some of which openly support one choice or the other, are extremely careful that they be as unbiased as possible when they start registering people to vote. Even if the group doesn’t endorse anyone, the person who’s registering probably already made their choice, so I think it’s important that they don’t try and influence people one way or the other and just focus on the job of registering them,” Boriak said.

Deputization of voter registrars is the first of many efforts by organizations on campus to increase voter turnout.

“This is only the beginning of our voter registration efforts, which will really center around National Voter Registration Day, which is September 27. It’s an initiative to raise awareness around the importance of registering to vote. Ultimately, we’re out to get more voters to show up on election day,  and this is a way to really center our efforts. We’ll of course be tabling all day on September 27, both on the esplanade and inside Mabee,” Santulli said.