Club encourages student political involvement


Sydney Wong

Senior Steve Sereno founded the Election Club as part of his senior project with aims to invoke more political participation in upperclassmen.

Madeline Campbell, Staff Reporter

With presidential elections falling only once every four years, this year’s seniors have the unique opportunity to vote in the fall following graduation. Because of the interest around this newfound civic responsibility, senior Steve Sereno started the 2016 Election Club as a senior project to inform future voters about the presidential election.

“I think what I really want to do after college is get into government and politics,” Sereno said. “I was researching things and I found out that the youth in government politics is underwhelming. We don’t really participate as much, so I wanted to invoke some kind of change starting at my school to kind of get my age more involved in the world around us.”

Senior Braden Smotherman attended the first meeting and is interested in what the club has to offer to him as a first time voter.

“I have always been interested in politics and it’s cool to share that with fellow 18 year olds that are gonna be voting next election,” Smotherman said. “[The current election process is] interesting. I know people are saying that this campaign hasn’t been like any other and I get to be a part of that which is cool.”

The club held their first meeting on Jan. 26. Their next meeting will be Feb. 16 at 4:30 p.m. in D208. Meetings will be held every other tuesday.

“The first meeting was really elementary,” Sereno said. “We just talked about what the club is gonna be and how it is gonna be structured, but afterwards the meetings from now on are going to be about what issues everyone wanted to talk about and just getting everyone the information they need with going on with the election.”

Sereno ran polls both at the meeting and over Twitter to determined the topics that will be discussed in upcoming meetings.

“Steve wants the club to be tailored toward the class,” Smotherman said. “He wants us interested in it, so he said that we would chose an economic issue, a domestic issue and a foreign policy issue. He used a quiz where we send in votes and the majority of the votes goes to what we talk about.”

Sereno is most looking forward to seeing the club’s members involved in politics. He wants to establish a new norm for youth participation in government.

“When you are growing up you are told not to talk about religion or government or politics, but I think just getting people to break out of their shell,” Sereno said. “I’m excited to see my members take the information that I give them and just interpret it in however they want to formulate their own opinions.”