Voting and Elections Panel
On Oct. 24, a voting and elections panel took place on the Rancho Cucamonga Chaffey Campus in Wargin Hall. The panel intended to further educate students on the purpose of voting as the 2018 Midterm Election approaches.
The Philosophy Club, Muslim Students Association and the Spanish Department sponsored the panel, which included Philosophy Professor Dr. Ryan Falcioni, Political Science Professor Pak Tang, Political Science Professor Kevin Cameron and Spanish Professor Tamari Jenkins as the host and mediator.
Student and SI Philosophy Leader Ashley Margraff was an attendee at the event.
"I’d like to gain more information for midterm elections,” Margraff responded when asked what she hoped to learn from the event.
The event opened with Jenkins introducing the panel and showing a video from Learn Liberty titled “Why are Voters so Uninformed?". She explained the costs of being an informed voter and the lack of incentives for voters. Afterwards, each professor had the opportunity to address a topic in regards to voting.
Tang stated voters matter because politicians take care of those who vote.
“Medicare, social security...if we go into an economic recession, politicians won’t touch that,” Tang added, as that is the demographic of older citizens who are active at the polls.
Education funding, college grants and policies regarding student loans are the first to receive budget cuts. He cites The Washington Post article "Young people say they plan on voting in November—but they usually don't," which details that the youth demographic, 18-34 year-olds, are interested in voting, yet do not actually vote. Tang provided information on how to register to vote as well.
Falcioni discussed the history of voting and how it became our right. He then argued the most compelling reason to vote is civic virtue and the greater good. Falcioni listed other options of political activism for students to consider, such as walking in marches or writing letters to congressmen.
After, Cameron provided insight on the history of the Democratic and Republican Party, before explaining how their agendas have changed and what they represent now.
Jenkins opened up the panel to answer any student questions. Students addressed their discontent with politicians and the voting process. One student noted how politicians’ charisma were difficult to see past, and another student addressed whether or not it was worthwhile to refrain from voting as a form of protest. Social media, the electoral college and swing states were other topics discussed during the Q&A.
Before the event came to a close professors cited online resources for students to be better informed at the polls such as Ballotpedia.org and sbcountyelections.com.
Student Xander Bachman, in response to what he learned from the event, stated:
“Voting is the most basic thing you should do. Your right is to actually go out there and protest for what you believe in.”
After asking Jenkins what she wanted students of Chaffey Community College to know, she shared:
“There is so much apprehension [for voting] and it is completely understandable, but at the same time you guys are our future. So to be completely absent from the process is hurting yourselves in the long run.”