Every vote counts


Student Devan Rostorfer motivating students to vote. Photo courtesy of Suse Sampaio Simoes.

Many students may not have politics as one of their priorities or have any strong beliefs about the government; nevertheless, the United States is facing a crucial election and citizens have the right weapon – their vote-  to make the difference.

For students like Devan Rostorfer, voting is a matter of power.

For the Chaminade senior majoring in biology, politics grew during high school, in a small town in Michigan called Eaton Rapids. She participated in a YMCA program called “Youth in Government,” which allows students to “serve in a model government process at the local, state, national and international levels.” During the program she was involved in a National Issues forum and was selected to travel to Washington, D.C., and North Carolina for the “Conference on National Affairs” (CONA), where students from all over the country came together to debate public policy.

“Participating in CONA was one of the most influential experiences of my life,” Rostorfer said. “I met some of the most intelligent and inspiring people, and I developed a sincere passion for national policy while acquiring an immense amount of information about national issues.”

Although Rostorfer, 21,was not old enough to vote during the 2008 elections, she decided to volunteer in order to create an impact and educate others about Obama. She made phone calls and knocked from door to door supporting his president campaign. She also attended every political event possible, which gave her the opportunity to hear Obama speak at Michigan State University and meet Hillary Clinton during her road campaigning for Obama.

“The reason this election is important to me is because I do not want men telling me what I can and cannot do with my body,” Rostorfer said. “Grow a vagina, and then maybe you can have an opinion. I cannot imagine living in a country that believes there are legitimate forms of rape, while denying women the right to have an abortion.”

Her passion for politics has grown throughout college. Currently, she is majoring in Biology and involved with the Hogan Entrepreneur program. She will help Querida Dydasco, 22, a senior and the chair of the Programming Board, to increase the voters registration at Chaminade.

From Oct. 1 to Oct. 5, the Programming Board will offer in the Loo Center registration forms with stamps and envelopes, making the registration process easier for students.

Suzanne Accord, a political science professor at Chaminade, also believes the youth needs to be more present and take advantage of the power of democracy to vote and make changes.

“I know the youth care, because if you are in school, you care about your health care, you care about your education and your rights,” she said. “And yet the youth don’t make it to the polls.”

Accord believes apathy is a reason why students are not getting involved. According to Accord, studies have shown that the U.S. has a low voter turnout because people feel that their vote is not going to change anything.

“I worry that is what the youth feel,” Accord said. “They feel like neither candidate is going to bring them what they want, but somebody is going to lead this country and we get to vote on it. So, lets vote for the person we would like to see create policy for us.”

The last day to register is Oct. 8 and any citizen over 18 can vote.