TX Votes hosts Trivia Night in hopes of increasing political awareness on campus

Emily O'Toole

TX Votes, a nonpartisan civil engagement student organization, hosted a political trivia night Tuesday as part of their initiative to increase University-wide political involvement.

While sporting their “ask me about voting” pins, TX Votes members hosted the trivia event at The Pizza Press. The questions covered topics such as Texans’ voting habits, voter turnout and presidents at turning points in history.

Marco Guajardo, civic engagement alliance chair of TX Votes, said the organization exists to encourage young people to be involved in the political process, as younger demographics tend to be less politically informed.

“We help people understand their rights and why it’s important to vote,” said Guajardo, a marketing sophomore. “A lot of young people feel disenchanted with their leaders or politics or what not because they aren’t as civically engaged as other groups.”

Sarah Herzer, TX Votes president, said the organization hosts and partakes in other activities with this goal in mind, such as registering people to vote, recruiting speakers and partnering with nonpartisan and partisan organizations.

“Our primary goal is to increase civic engagement on campus,” said Herzer, a political communication and ancient history junior. “Last year we hosted an election night watch party which was a great success, and we do election brackets when elections come around so that people can try to guess who is going to win.”

TX Votes partners with other civic engagement groups on campus as a part of the Civic Engagement Alliance, Herzer said.

Zoe Long, international relations and global studies and theatre sophomore, said she thinks people may not vote because their vote seems insignificant.

“When you vote, it’s one of the most correct ways that, as a citizen, you can have your voice be heard,” Long said.

Plan II sophomore Margaret Siu said she thinks everyone should have a say and be aware of their surroundings given today’s political climate.

“We’re so privileged to be in a country where citizens’ voices do matter,” Siu said. “It’s a right to exercise your beliefs, even if you’re just one person.”

According to the alliance’s website, the CEA registered 4,376 students to vote during the 2015-2016 school year.

TX Votes does not advocate for a specific cause or candidate because the importance of voting exists regardless of political alignment, Guajardo said.

“One of the easiest things to do to effect change in your government is to vote,” Guajardo said.