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Election day party brings out first-time voters; promotes political discourse

11/14/2012 —

 

STUDENTS WANT A VOICE IN CHOOSING THE COUNTRY’S LEADERS

Tayla Barnard was among the many first-time voters at Penn State New Kensington’s Election Day Party where students, faculty and staff gathered Nov. 6 in the campus’ Café 780 to discuss the election.

Barnard, a junior business administration major, was excited, as well as nervous, about casting her inaugural ballot. She was eager to be a part of the election process but not sure of what to expect.

“I don’t know how these things go, but I feel privileged to be able to take part in such a historical moment,” said Barnard, a graduate of Penn Hills High School.

Barnard’s thoughts mimicked those of many of the first-time voters at the campus. The common theme among the 18-22-year-olds was having a say in who will be running the country for the next four years.

“I had a different view on the Obama Care,” said Barnard, who voted for Mitt Romney. “But I had the opportunity to have my voice heard. Now that Obama has a second chance, hopefully he can stay on my good side.”

The thrill of going to the polls was not limited to the first-timers. Parents of rookie voters derived a vicarious pleasure from their offspring exercising their franchise. Kevin Snider, chancellor of the New Kensington campus, along with his wife, Sarah, accompanied their 18-year-old son Tyler to the polls.

“It was a thrill to see him take that responsibility seriously,” said Snider, a resident of Allegheny Township. “It is extremely important for young Americans to get educated and take the initiative to vote.”

The Election Day social was sponsored by the Student Government Association. SGA, which represents the campus students and encourages extracurricular activities, hosted TV viewing parties during the presidential debates.

For more on the SGA, visit http://www.nk.psu.edu/StudentLife/sga.htm online.

(Public Relations intern Erica Seifert conducted the interviews and is co-author of the story)

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