In a July 2018 study published by the Center for American Progress, young adults between the ages of 18-29 were among the lowest reported demographic for voter turnout.
With those numbers in mind, we were honored when we were asked to join a task force through the Dean of Students Office with the goal of getting more college-age students registered to vote. We were incredibly excited to begin working.
As president of the Underrepresented Student Advisory Council, Cassidy Wright proposed hosting a competition to organizations under the USAC umbrella to see who could get the most people registered to vote. But another opportunity came up first. We would see a high volume of incoming students at Bobcats Care. I staffed tables at the event and helped register 205 incoming Bobcats. Cassidy handed out voter registration cards to anyone who came up to the USAC table.
We were off to a good start.
But Cassidy and I are not the only students who are sitting on the Voter Registration Task Force. Brooklyn Boreing and Ruben Becerra, Student Government president and vice president, both sit on the task force. They have thus far provided limited assistance and input. Brooklyn was not at Bobcats Care, maybe she had a reason, maybe not. Ruben was there for a short period before vanishing without saying a word, leaving Monica to work the tables alone.
We are not complaining, nor are we forgetting that other members of the Student Government assisted, but we held both Brooklyn and Ruben to a higher standard. They are both members of the initiative and as such should have been there to set a good example.
We were shocked when we saw the charges leveled by former senator Elijah Miller against both Brooklyn and Ruben of voter rigging, secret funding, collusion, vandalism and other allegations. What kind of example could we hope to impress upon those attempting to involve themselves in their local communities if two of the student-leaders on the task force did not conduct themselves with integrity?
There is enough corruption in the outside world that needs to be changed through the voting process without having to witness it first-hand. We call on both Brooklyn and Ruben to step down from the Voter Registration Task Force and allow ethical candidates to represent Student Government. Last year we saw what happens when injustice is ignored. Whether these allegations prove to be true or not, neither of these two individuals have any place on this task force.
Our job of getting young people to use their constitutionally given right to vote is hard enough without having corrupt student-leaders in our ranks. No one will take us seriously if we continue to turn a blind eye to this kind of unethical behavior. We cannot and will not allow for this to happen. Brooklyn, Ruben, do the right thing. Show us that you are willing to accept your wrongdoings and allow our work to continue untainted. Step down.
– Monica Mendez is a public relations senior
– Cassidy Wright is a social work senior