I watched the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Monday night and it was an eye opening experience, to say the least. But more than anything that was said during the actual debate, what really opened my eyes to how politics works within society is the aftermath on Facebook. Ya know, where that one website where that one kid who lived down the street from you in elementary school goes to scream his strong political views into the void.
Instead of a place for us to express our political frustrations in the most impersonal of ways, what we truly need – at Vandy and everywhere else – is a place where we can exchange ideas and engage in political discussions with others in an educated and interesting way. *Enter Vanderbilt Multi-Partisan Student Coalition stage left* Thanks to your fellow Vanderbilt students there’s now a platform for you to do just that. VMSC is a multi-partisan organization that hopes to expand the conversation and interest in politics beyond just a single party. Sharing your views is great, but it’s even greater when you’re among people who may not believe the same things you do so that you can learn from them just as much as they learn from you. Right now VMSC is running a campus wide Voter Registration drive where you can register to vote or fill out an absentee ballot. If you haven’t registered to vote yet VMSC will be registering people at each Debate Viewing Party on campus. During the debate you can see if you’ve registered to vote yet, request an absentee ballot (they’ll have forms for all 50 states!), and they’ll stamp and mail everything out for you once you’re done. VMSC works with VSG and both the College Democrats and the College Republicans organizations on campus so you can come to the drive and support your preferred organization while you’re at it.
Politics is much more than having a set of beliefs; it’s using your power to decide how you want your country to be run. Whether you’re a Republic or a Democrat, a Never Hillary or a Never Trump, or maybe you’re a Jill Stein kinda guy it’s important that you let your voice be heard. In the words of VMSC’s founder, “It’s kind of crazy to me that on a campus that strives to foster such diversity and collaboration, the only political student organizations that existed before now were intended for students to interact with only people of their own ideologies. (Don’t get me wrong, I think that those organizations are just as necessary as the VMSC, but there needs to be cross-party involvement as well.) Our country is becoming increasingly disillusioned with bi-partisan politics. More people define themselves as independents than ever before, and more and more people on both sides (especially of our generation) are feeling less comfortable aligning themselves with either party. There needs to be a space on campus for politically-minded students who define themselves not just as Democrats or Republicans, but also as Independents, Libertarians, Green Party members, something else, or nothing at all.” So with that being said, for the sake of our future please participate in VMSC’s Voter Registration Drive and register to vote!