Students encouraged to vote in Hamden election

Students+encouraged+to+vote+in+Hamden+election

Kelly Ryan

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The town of Hamden will vote on Nov. 3 for a new mayor. The Student Government Association (SGA) is encouraging students to be a part of the voting process to decide whether current Democratic Mayor Curt Balzano Leng or Republican candidate Bob Anthony should lead the town.

“I think historically students have wanted to vote and they didn’t know that they could,” Student Body President Jonny Atkin said. “Especially since a lot of students feel like Quinnipiac is their home… they feel like Hamden is their home.”

SGA passed out registration forms on Monday in the Carl Hansen Student Center. Students were provided with all voting registration information via email. The documents can be printed, filled out and returned to the Student Government Association (SGA). SGA will then hand deliver the forms to Hamden Town Hall.

Atkin is asking for all forms to be returned by Tuesday, Oct. 27th.

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As student body president, Atkin has been approached by students, asking if they were able to vote in elections for the town of Hamden.

“This [voting for Hamden mayor] was a unique opportunity for us. We thought this might be something that we should go forward with doing to help our university and to give our students a voice in the broader community,” Atkin said.

Atkin said he got immediate responses from students after sending out the email.

Freshman physical therapy major Allie Giordano registered to vote in Hamden at SGA’s event on Monday. She said it was an easy process. Although she had originally registered to vote in her hometown in New York, she felt it was important to vote in Hamden.   

“I’m spending most of my time here,” she said. “We’ll be here for more election days, I know Nov. 3 I won’t be home then so I’ll have to registered here if I want to vote.”

Sophomore history major Jackie Price said she did not hear about SGA’s event and does not plan to register to vote.

“I don’t know, I just didn’t really have time to do that,” she said. “I don’t really get into politics and all that stuff so I don’t really follow what’s going on. I mean if I was more into it I would probably vote.”

SGA also worked with Public Safety and development offices to provide transportation to the Hamden polls on election day. But students who live on York Hill and students who live on Mount Carmel, have to vote at different polls.

Atkin said the two campuses are “in different zones.” He plans to send out specific emails to those who have signed up to vote, explaining which shuttle to take.

But Price said she thinks this is a great idea.

“It’s nice for kids who don’t have cars or don’t have friends who have cars that they have a ride to go vote,” she said.

Giordano said she still is deciding who she will vote for on Tuesday, but wants to choose someone who has the students’ best interests in mind.   

Anthony’s stance on some current Quinnipiac-Hamden issues include the argument that 300 beds should have been built on the York Hill campus, that Hamden police need to be more strict with students holding off-campus parties and that the main problem with Quinnipiac is the off-campus housing owned by non-QU landlords.

Leng agrees with Anthony that the main problem is the off-campus housing owned by outside landlords. But Leng does not believe Hamden police should be any more strict and praises their work ethic. He is surprised by the development of the North Haven campus and believes positive change is coming in the future for Quinnipiac.

Students interested in voting in the election should educate themselves first, Atkin said.

“[Students should] do some research on who the candidates are and what their positions are because that can make the biggest difference of how our university advances and grows and expands in the future,” Atkin said. “It has a direct impact on us.”