SUNY Oswego’s race to the polls begins

OSWEGO, N.Y. — The presidential election is soon to be underway and many SUNY Oswego students and staff already have in mind who they plan to vote for.

The presidential election is an important time for people as they are going out to vote and trying to make sure that their top candidate is the one that takes hold of the office. SUNY Oswego is no different in that regard. SUNY Oswego students and staff have their own ideas of who they plan to vote for and also different reasons why.

While staff at SUNY Oswego are more likely to actually go out and vote, students have a different story. There are students on SUNY Oswego’s campus that do plan to vote but there are also students who don’t for a variety of reasons. These reasons can vary from not knowing enough about the candidates and the election overall to just simply not liking the current candidates running. 

While voting is a choice, SUNY Oswego encourages its students to go out there and vote anyway. One way SUNY Oswego does this is through a project called Vote Oswego. Vote Oswego’s sole purpose is to help not only students, but everyone who is a part of the Oswego community. This is done by stressing how important it is to go out and vote no matter what affiliation they have to any party.

Allison Rank, associate professor and department chair of American politics, said Vote Oswego has helped the campus of SUNY Oswego increase their voting percentage through this project.

“I believe our voter turnout rate prior to the year ago was up 30% for a national election, presidential election. Thirty percent of our students were okay. We started ‘vote as we go.’ That first year, we got 40% of our students to vote. By 2020, we have moved that to almost 60%. So in two election cycles, we doubled the voter turnout rate to election cycles of the U.S.”

Since its start, Vote Oswego has become an important part of SUNY Oswego during the time of the presidential elections.

While there has been an increase in voters, this doesn’t mean that everyone still plans to vote.

Some students at SUNY Oswego found themselves not knowing who to vote for. This was the result of many different reasons, but the staff who work at SUNY Oswego have a more clear understanding of who it is they want to see in office for president.

Eileen Gilligan, associate professor at SUNY Oswego, said she plans to vote for President Joe Biden this year.

“There is no viable third party candidate I’m aware of. So Biden will certainly do less harm and I certainly support most of the directions he goes in,” she said.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are at the top of the candidates who are currently running for president this time around. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t others who have a chance to undermine them both and come out on top.

Sabrina Taylor, former Oswego student, said that she plans to vote for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. He is a candidate who isn’t widely talked about but is in the race for president as an independent candidate.

“I don’t believe in the two-party system, I believe it removes a lot of candidates who would be good representatives for this country, but the biggest reason recently that I’ve decided I would vote for Kennedy is a lot of his pushes for sustainability and adjustment of agricultural practices to support sustainability that already exist within our country,” she said

Taylor might not be a student at SUNY Oswego, but she is one of a few that knows about candidates outside of Biden and Trump. Although Kennedy hasn’t made any significant impact yet, Taylor is hopeful that he will eventually come out on top.