‘Get out the vote’ for the city of Coral Gables elections

With the City of Coral Gables elections fast approaching, the “Get Out the Vote” campaign is back in full swing at the University of Miami.

The campus-wide campaign seeks to register all students who are Coral Gables residents to vote in the April 10 city elections. The deadline for registration is March 12.

Annette Ponnock, Student Government president, said that the university has about 5,000 guaranteed Coral Gables residents because of students living on campus. However, that number depends on whether or not all residents choose to register.

“This is a really unique opportunity because it is the students’ chance to have a direct impact on the betterment of the university,” Ponnock said.

There are 10 student leaders currently heading the campaign, which the Division of Student Affairs initiated prior to the 2004 presidential elections.

“The idea is that we are trying to build a better community here at UM,” said Johweyeh Lowenthal, campaign leader and president of Hands for the Homeless.

Lowenthal also said that by participating in the electoral process, students will show the city that the university wants to be part of the community.

In an address to the SG Senate on Wednesday, Krizia Giambanco, a former senator and current Category 5 vice-chair, said that the campaign is looking to bring mayoral candidates on campus for the debates. “We’re hoping that students vote so that Coral Gables officials listen to us,” Giambanco said.

John Constantinide, speaker of the SG Senate, said he feels students will become more receptive once they realize how important the vote is. Ponnock agreed.

“This is really empowering the students and letting them voice what they would like for the future of the university,” she said. “It’s not important who the students vote for, but rather that they get out and vote.”

Students interested in registering may stop by the “Get Out the Vote” table in the UC Breezeway this week or register on MyUM by clicking the Online Resources tab.

Megan Ondrizek may be contacted at m.ondrizek@umiami.edu.