Greene Street bustled with activity Tuesday afternoon, where 18 student organizations — including the Feminist Collective, Gamecocks for Peace and the College Democrats at USC — hosted tables to help students with the voter registration process.
National Voter Registration Day, which encourages those eligible to register to vote in local and state elections, was represented on campus Tuesday in the form of volunteers encouraging students to register to vote. The South Carolina Democratic and Republican parties worked together to register as many students as possible to vote.
South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn and USC President Harris Pastides were also present. Clyburn spoke to student media and showed his support for students registering for the upcoming election.
Third-year biology student and Alpha Kappa Alpha multicultural sorority member Valeria Glanton was there to help students register. Alpha Kappa Alpha was just one of the many organizations that had a table set up. Glanton hoped to see some of the younger students come out of the woodwork.
“I would expect a lot of freshmen to come out today because they have never had the opportunity to vote before,” Glanton said. “The turnout has already been greater than I expected. I have already heard that they needed more ballots at some of the other tables.”
Glanton also welcomed the impact the numerous organizations had on getting students to register.
“[D]ifferent people follow different groups and will follow what their groups do. Hopefully they will follow their groups here today,” Glanton said.
First-year nursing student Mackenzie King registered to vote for the first time on Tuesday because she had just celebrated her 18th birthday. King said that she was not sure that she would have registered if the opportunity wasn’t so accessible to her.
“I would not have thought about registering because it feels so early to be getting prepared for next year's election. It is great that USC has made it so accessible on campus and advertised it on social media to make it well known,” King said.
When asked why so many college students do not register to vote, King responded by saying it was probably because they were not aware that it was accessible to them.
According Cory Alpert, a third-year sociology and Russian student who organized the event, over 200 students signed up to vote over the course of the day.