Get your vote on

February 22nd. Election Day in Chicago. After a long and sometimes surprising campaign season, the time has arrived for voters to decide who will run the city. While the mayoral election has certainly received the most press, aldermen and county clerks are also being decided today.To prepare for the big day, the Student Affairs division of the Student Government Association (SGA) hosted a “Get Out the Vote” event on Monday, Feb. 21. The event, according to Jaclyn Tracy, EVP of Student Affairs, was created as a last-minute reminder to students that voting was happening today, and to emphasize to students the importance of this mayoral election.

As for student response to the event, Tracy joked in an e-mail, “student response is always positive when you have pizza,” but added that she saw a range of student reactions in response to whether or not they would vote.

“We got a variety of responses.neutral, to confused, to extremely excited about the election,” she said.

Today’s student responses seemed to fall into a similar range. Many students interviewed were not registered to vote in Chicago, but were following the mayoral election. Asked who he would vote for if he could vote in Chicago, Detroit native and DePaul junior William Savoie said, “probably Rahm (Emanuel), because of his time on the national stage.”

Conversely, Malik Assi, a sophomore from the suburbs said he would vote for, “anyone but Rahm.I don’t like his foreign policy.”

Responses from students who could vote in Chicago were varied. DePaul senior Smokey Priebe voted for not just a mayoral candidate, but for her alderman and for the Chicago City Clerk as well. She voted for Susana Mendoza for City Clerk, and Gery Chico for mayor.

“I’m a firefighter,” Priebe said. In her opinion, Chico “cares more for city workers.he [Chico] supports all the people who make the city run, but who don’t get the credit.”

Senior, Keith Moore, wanted to vote if he could get out between classes, and said he would also vote for Gery Chico, because he felt civil servants “especially the past year or two, haven’t been helped by the city.” Moore admitted he really did not know who was running today, aside from the mayoral candidates.

DePaul senior Christian Roman, disagreed. “I don’t see how Chico can fix anything,” he said. He felt that Chico’s promise to help the Chicago Public Schools was hypocritical, considering Chico had opportunities to help before, as Chief of Staff and board President of Chicago Public Schools. “When you’re in charge of hiring, you’re in charge of schools. He’s had two opportunities..he [Chico] didn’t take a stand for anybody.” Roman voted for Rahm Emanuel.

Still other students did not vote at all. “I don’t follow politics,” said Lola Sanamyants, a freshman. “I hate politics!”

Though there seemed to be plenty of response in terms of the mayoral election, with very few exceptions most students did not seem at all to be in tune – or even aware of – the aldermanic and other elections.

Graduate student Kristen Aguirre was in the municipal polling station at the Sullivan Athletic Center for two hours, and in that time only saw two students. However, Aguirre also noticed, “those who came in really educated [themselves] on the issues.” Aguirre wondered if maybe the students who did not vote, or did not seem interested, felt that they would simply not be heard.

“[The election] was not really directed toward our generation,” she said, and added that perhaps more activity on college campuses, such as forums or debates, would have helped. “There were debates,” she noted, “but those weren’t our voices asking the questions.”

The results of the election will be posted here as they become available.