More than 160 NCCU students marched to the polls on October 23, 2020 to exercise their right to vote. The students marched from the NCCU track to the NCCU Turner Law Building. Photo by Kristen Bowman/Campus Echo Staff Photographer

Many NCCU students express interest with voting in the presidential election


N.C. Central University students expressed the importance of making a change by voting by identifying social injustice as a reoccurring issue within our communities today.

Students have shown interest in this political debate, expressing their concerns with one another through major social media platforms. Twitter has been very popular during this election process.

NCCU Senior Dasia Bethea tweeted “GET OUT AND GO VOTE! We can discuss police brutality, we can discuss social injustice, we can discuss racism.

But the only way to make a real difference is to actively participate in voting for our next President and elected officials.”

Bethea’s tweet received recognition from students here at NCCU and other nearby universities. She expressed how it felt to interact with others who possessed similar views.

“I honestly didn’t expect so many other students to agree with my simple message,” Bethea said.

“It feels good to know that there are people my age actively making a choice to stand up against our corrupt system by raising voter awareness and showing their dedication by committing to going to the polls.”

Early voting began Oct. 15  across the United States and has strongly encouraged first-time voters to register.

Many NCCU students, faculty, staff, and members of the community have voted  at the polling site located at NCCU Turner Law Building,

Chancellor Johnson Akinleye has also sent out numerous reminders to students, faculty, and staff urging individuals to participate in early voting.

NCCU freshman and quarterback of the football team Quest Powell stated this was his first time getting a chance to express his right to vote.

He talked about how this election was “big” for him and the importance of participating in politics and voting.

Sophomore Chayil Townsend gave her opinion on NCCU’s involvement in the political aspect, sharing her thoughts about the school’s attributions.

“I feel like campus is more involved as a whole,” Townsend said.

“I wasn’t here in 2016 and I also couldn’t vote, but from what I’ve been told and what I’m experiencing, the atmosphere is definitely different. Previous elections were not as pushed, but I am glad that our school is taking the initiative to do so.”

Sophomore Justin Whately mentioned police brutality and how he believes it is important to vote in order to see systematic change.

“What we have been seeing lately [in the media] isn’t right. We need to take the time and express our right to vote if we want to see change. It’s not enough to just talk about it,” Whately said.

According to an article written by Quiana Shepard, Director of Marketing and Communications, the first day of early voting on NCCU’s campus was very effective.

Shepard mentioned in the article that Marie Bush, NCCU’s polling site coordinator, said she’s never seen the NCCU polling site location so busy.

Certain departments are also holding events on campus to raise voter awareness in hopes to bring as many students as possible out to the polls to vote.

Last month, Jessie Malit and the rest of NCCU’s Athletics Department held a “Black Lives Matter March to the Polls” inviting all students and staff to come out for early voting.

The purpose of the event was to spread awareness regarding social injustice and bringing voters to the polls.

The march began at the Track and ended at the Turner Law Building.

Malit, a junior here and defensive lineman for Central’s football team, helped make the event happen by bringing all of the student-athletes together.

When asked how he felt about this election and why the march was necessary, he explained his thoughts and the importance of getting out and voting.

“I think it is very important that education is at the forefront of our elections and we need to educate our youth in particular because those are going to be our future leaders,  Mailt said.

“They understand what it means to vote and how they can actively engage in helping the community,”

NCCU’s Head Football Coach, Trei Oliver, talked about how excited he was to witness the youth to come out and participate.

“If you want your voice to be heard, you have to get out and vote. It’s no sense of us marching, protesting, and expressing our views on social media if we’re not going to get out to the polls and vote,” Oliver said.

Ty Greenwood, NCCU’s Cornerback Coach, made a comment about the student’s dedication to coming and voting early.

“I believe the students are more passionate about this election due to the social injustices taking place in the world today. That passion is bringing them to the polls. They want to see change,” Greenwood said.

According to the NCCU Student Athletics website, more than 160 student-athletes participated in the “Black Lives Matter March to the Polls.”

One student said she feels good after watching the previous debate and is ready to cast her vote. She also mentioned how she hopes to see a positive transformation within the government and the community.

Polls are open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 2:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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