Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701- 3995
Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2000
Steve Buchholz, Public Information Manager, 394- 6082. Student interviews available.
Tech students join election battles
Tiffany Pavek knows the importance of staying politically informed.
“ It’s my world. It’s my life,” Pavek, a junior math major at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, said. “ The things the candidates are talking about, the wars we get involved in, it all affects us.”
That’s one reason she’s active in the College Republicans at Tech. The group, although small, has been working hard this election season in hopes of turning a few votes in favor of their favorite candidates in state and federal elections.
The newly formed College Democrats on campus also are trying to make a difference. The university hasn��t yet officially recognized the group, although that is expected to happen soon, but that hasn’t kept its members from the campaign trail.
Group members debated College Republicans recently and hope their newness inspires students to go to the polls Nov. 7.
“ We’re trying to get the campus more involved politically,” Chris Bartelt, president of the group of two, said.
The group plans a dorm party for election night.
“ We’ll have a big celebration if Gore wins, and if Bush wins, we’ll celebrate along with the Republicans because one of them will lead the country,” he said.
Twenty students call themselves College Republicans. Ten regularly attend meetings. They juggle homework and jobs with getting out the word for their candidates and about the importance of staying informed.
“ I think college students want to be informed, but they don’t want to go out of their way to do it,�� Pavek, group treasurer, said. “ Groups like ours need to go out and the candidates need to come here to tell students where they stand on issues.”
College Republicans have dropped fliers and other information door- to- door in Rapid City. Group members also have gone door- to- door in campus dormitories and registered students to vote. The group sponsored a Rally to Victory this week on campus. State legislative and office candidates as well as Secretary of State Joyce Hazeltine attended.
Pavek described as “ pathetic” recent poll results that found that less than 30 percent of
people ages 18 to 24 could name the two major party presidential candidates.
“ For students to say they don’t care and then whine about what’s happening, it’s totally hypocritical,” she said.
Bartelt agreed. He said groups like his and Pavek’s can help increase political awareness and action on campus.
“ We want to install in students a sense of purpose,” he said. “ We want them to know that their vote does count.”
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.