With the Election two weeks away organizations on and around campus have been making an effort to encourage students and the Philadelphia community to vote. In general, youth voter engagement has gotten better in recent years. Sophomore Rachel Williams is a part of the younger population that are voting. Williams says she “actually feels like she’s a little more educated than some of her peers.”
However despite the increase of young voters, the statistics still show the younger population still has a low turnout. Even at Temple, students like Henry Gallagher say they have heard “not really a whole lot” about the candidates in the upcoming election.
The Urban Affairs Coalition (UCA) is an organization that has a mission to help engage the Philadelphia community and students in the upcoming election. The organization is hosting a forum on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, at Temple University’s Liacouras Center, with both mayoral candidates: Democrat Cherelle Parker and Republican David Oh.
President of UCA, Arun Prabhakaran says the forum is “designed to run a one on one discussion with each candidate,” so attendees can feel a more personal connection with the candidates. Attendees will hear both Parker and Oh’s plans for education, gun violence, economics and more, with a chance to ask the candidates questions. According to Prabhkaran “this election comes at a pivotal time for philadelphia” so this connection and opportunity to be heard could play a key role in encouraging people to vote.
Aside from UCA, student run organizations on campus are also working to promote the election. Vice President of Temple’s Political Science Society (PSSOC), Ari Monarch said the club runs as a democracy, that “it’s what the students decide,” and that PSSOC will “have the election as a topic and will be able to give some background information on the candidates.”
In the end, both PSSOC and UCA want everyone to head out and vote.
Prabhakaran said, “No matter what. If it’s taking a vote by mail option in their hometown, or registering here in the city of Philadelphia, we encourage everyone to vote.”