SMC's Phi Theta Kappa Sponsors Election Forum

In a nonpartisan effort, two Santa Monica College club's Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Gamma Sigma are leading an effort to get students to register to vote. The clubs hope to show fellow students that they have a voice in electoral process.

Spearheading this effort is Karla Washington, president of Phi Theta Kappa, who said:

"I wanted to bring awareness to students on campus; I want to give them a little more information, because it is more then just voting for a president.

"Keep in mind, that this is one of the most historical elections ever that I know of. But it is more then that there are propositions that you should be aware of, that go beyond voting for Senators Obama and McCain."

Through Oct. 17, Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Gamma Sigma going to be holding voter registration tables, in order to get students to vote.

There will be volunteers posted on every SMC campus encouraging students to register to vote. Washington says; "Through out the day you will be able to register to vote."

Expected to participate is the League of Women Voters. According to Washington the League opened a booth up on Oct. 13 to answer any questions that students had.

Students may ask different political groups about various political subjects. The Woman's League will still have a table at the forum and do its part to help students to get out and vote.

This nonpartisan effort will lead to Thursday's big event, which Washington called "the forum."

The U.S. Constitution Day and Presidential Election Forum will be held on Thursday, Oct. 16, at 11:15 a.m. on the college quad. The forum will take place during the student activity hour.

Representing and attending on the behalf of the Obama campaign is Julia Brownley.

Brownley is a California state Assemblywoman who represents the 41st district, which includes areas of Santa Monica, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Encino, Hidden Hills, Oak Park, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Tarzana, Topanga, Westlake Village and Woodland Hills in the Sacramento Assembly.

From the McCain campaign, Austin Dragon will be speaking on McCain's behalf. Dragon is the president of the Southern California Republican Coalition.

In the background of the discussion of the forum students will be surprised to find fifth graders, who will be bused in that day to get SMC students to register vote, according to Washington.

During the Oct. 16 forum, students will also hear from different views and perspectives from panelists as to why they should vote.

These panelists will explain their views and try to sway students to register to vote and maybe win them over on some issues.

Liz Mullins, former Associated Students presidential candidate, and now press secretary for the Get the Vote Out effort, said "We are students; we're not experts on the subject. We happen to be students who do believe our vote counts.

"It's important that we have experts, representatives from these wonderful campaigns and candidates that we have and to really show as students we are an educational institution.

"We want bring in experts to make this not only a learning and informative nonpartisan wonderful activity and making it about informing."