As many college students gear up to vote in their first presidential election, student leaders from the University of Nevada, Reno are urging students to cast their ballots.
Vanessa Riberio is a sophomore studying journalism at UNR. She’s also a student senator for the Associated Students of the University of Nevada, which is UNR’s student government organization. Ribeiro said she plans to vote to help those who can’t.
“Voice is power,” Riberio said. “When we look at what voices have a seat at the table, we often find that the communities being affected most by procedures and policies don’t have the opportunity to be heard. So as a person of privilege, I think that I naturally have a commitment to amplify the voices of those who don’t have a seat at the table.”
Robert Purdy is a UNR student and a Nevada Democratic Party student fellow. Purdy echoes Riberio’s statement, saying he feels voting is an American privilege.
“Your vote is your voice,” Purdy said. “If you don’t vote, you have no say. Your vote is your say. You get to decide. This is a uniquely American thing that people have fought and died for, and a right many countries don’t have.”
Vice President of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada Austin Brown said if met with someone on the fence about voting, he’d try to convince them to vote.
“I’d want to ask them ‘why not?’ ” Brown said. “You don’t have anything to lose from voting. Everyone, in theory, should have equal access to voting. I think right now, especially, if you have the privilege to vote, you absolutely should be exercising that.”
College campuses, including UNR, have become a place for political discourse and discussion. Even during a pandemic, UNR’s campus has become a site for early voting and debates between different candidates.
As a note of disclosure, the Board of Regents to the Nevada System of Higher Education owns the license to this station.
The photo included in this story is licensed under Flickr Creative Commons.
Olivia Ali is a senior at the Reynolds School of Journalism.