TGVL draws students to vote

Retraction: Rocking the vote 2008 which will be held 6 to 9:30 at the College Green on October 3rd, is held by Resident Life as opposed to Think Globally, Vote Locally.

The Geneseo student organization Think Globally, Vote Locally is continuing its efforts to encourage students to vote in the November elections.

TGVL was formed before the presidential election of 2004, in which 1,500 college students registered in Geneseo and 1,200 turned out at the polls. The group's success came from their decision to increase voter turnout by registering students locally.

Since then, opposition to the group has included the opinion that college students should not participate in local elections, but senior Fiona Murray has worked for TGVL in their effort to make students aware of their importance as members of the local community.

"It's not just about voting, but thinking of ourselves as residents of the town and people who should have a say in local elections," said Murray. "Whether you stay at Geneseo for two years or six years, there is always going to be a college here. We contribute to the local economy; this is our home."

Not only does local voting impact the community, but it is also more convenient for some students. "It's easier to vote locally," said senior Mary Donovan, who is registered in Geneseo.

For students like freshman Liana Johnson, registering in their hometown was part of turning 18.

"It's also convenient because I know where things are," said Johnson.

She plans to vote by absentee ballot. Although TGVL will register students in their hometowns if they choose, many students are unlikely to go through the absentee process, which is another reason to register locally.

TGVL has also emphasized that when a the college student demographic votes as a community, it sends a powerful message to politicians that students are paying attention and care about the issues. TGVL has helped send that message with its participation in events like the recent Congressional debate.

Senior Ben DeGeorge and junior Mike Ansaldi spearheaded the debate, and nearly all aspects of the event, such as candidate contact, press and advertising were run by students and groups like TGVL and Democracy Matters.

Such events ensure that students are informed before going to the polls.

"Our goal is to increase awareness about issues in Geneseo," said TGVL member and senior Leslie Krotman.

Upcoming events include a political forum sponsored by the GOLD Program and TGVL's Rocking the Vote 2008, which will be held from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 3 at the College Green. It will feature local bands and student performance groups, as well as organizations devoted to a specific cause or issue that is pertinent to this year's elections.

The deadline for voter registration is Oct. 10. TGVL will be tabling on the College Green at least once a week until then, as well as presenting in classes and organization meetings. Anyone who has questions or would like to volunteer can e-mail the organization at, or visit