Three weeks ahead of the midterm election on Nov. 8, student organizers on campus are gearing up for the final stretch: it’s time to #GetOutTheVote.

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, students gathered at the Stevenson Event Center to hear UC Santa Cruz alumni Tiffany Dena Loftin speak on the importance of spreading the word about the coming election and the role that student organizations can have on its outcome. The This is Our Future: Take Back the Vote event was hosted by SOL Council and SOMeCA.

Loftin has an extensive career throughout different levels of government, with stints as a program coordinator for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, National Director of Youth & College Division for the NAACP, and as the community engagement director for 

But it all began here at UCSC, where she learned the political organizing lessons that she now passes on to a new generation of students — especially those who are new to the campus.

“First-years, y’all are the most important [people] in the room, because you’re coming after all of these people,” said Loftin, gesturing at all of the returning students present in the room.

Students representing UCSC’s Big 5 ethnic organizations were present as well as members of many other groups on campus, both political and not: from EnviroSlug to the Foraging Club. The attendees were asked to think about, and create a mock plan for how they could leverage their organizations to increase voter turnout, and improve the communities understanding of the issues on the ballot.

Loftin’s presentation gave emphasis to the unique power that student organizations have in elections, with their ability to mobilize large groups of student voters. With young voters historically expected to have low turnout, Loftin stressed the importance of campus leaders motivating and assisting students with voting in the coming election.

Register or re-register to vote here. The deadline to register for voting by mail in California is midnight, Oct. 24. Voters who register between Oct. 25 and election day on Nov. 8, can still vote in-person through conditional voter registration at local polling locations.

Reporter’s Note:

City on a Hill Press is one of the endorsers of the This is Our Future: Take Back The Vote event.