Students scrawled phrases like “equal pay for equal work” and “legalize all drugs” on a board on Tuesday, using a piece of chalk to voice what they want to see from the next United States president.
Party Politics partnered with Texas State’s Organization of Student Social Workers from Oct. 26-30 to conduct The Chalkboard Campus Tour.
OSSW members set up a chalkboard in the mall between Alkek and the LBJ Student Center to give students the opportunity to write what they want the next president to do for the country.
“Our goal is to get people re-interested in politics,” said Michael Hart, president of OSSW. “The whole reason that it is called Party Politics is to have ‘party’ in front of politics and make it fun and get people excited about politics.”
Hart said Party Politics is taking The Chalkboard Campus Tour project to campuses across the country and Texas State was the first stop on the tour.
The project is intended to educate future and current voters in a unique and interactive way so students can express what they want to see in the nation’s next president. Chalkboards, historically, are associated with education and that is what the group is trying to do— get people interested and educated again, Hart said.
According to the Party Politics website, the nonpartisan organization is determined to unite political and socio-cultural communities by providing entertaining platforms, formats and projects.
“There is a lot of pessimism and cynicism that is surrounding politics right now and it is keeping people from being involved,” Hart said. “(People) don’t think that they have a voice, so the overarching goal isn’t to put what you’re interested in, but to get people more interested and re-interested in politics.”
On the first day of the project, 600 to 1,000 students stopped to write on the chalkboard, he said, mentioning he overheard a lot of excitement from students.
“Everything I’ve heard has been, ‘This is a super cool idea,’” Hart said. “You can see people walking by and they will kind of glance over, then stop when they realize what it is and they will come over to the chalkboard and write something down or stop to read it.”
With the 2016 presidential candidacy race in full swing, students are analyzing contenders to see which ones share the same views as they do. Some students simply drew a check mark on the chalkboard next to already-written issues they agreed with.
Lexi Shorey, criminal justice law enforcement junior, said her attention is on Bernie Sanders because human rights is an issue she is focused on.
“It’s really nice that people can just walk up and put a check on everything and they don’t even have to write anything down,” Shorey said. “I think it gets people more interested in voting.”
Sean Ortega, economics freshman, wrote on the chalkboard that he hopes the next president will deal with the underlying social unrest present among the American people.
“I think that now is the best time to be alive and be around,” Ortega said. “I feel like it’s not a time for us to be disagreeing with each other and having all of the riots that have been occurring.”