Dozens of UNCW students "ran to the polls" Thursday evening.
They started at Leutze Hall on UNCW’s campus and walked more than half a mile to the New Hanover County Board of Elections.
"This is the first election I am voting in and I am very excited to get out there and vote," said Seth Regan, a UNCW senior.
"It is our life, it is our country and we should be proud to vote and make that decision," Samantha Sarube, a UNCW junior, said.
While it may not have been the easiest way to get to the polls, students said it made it easier for them to encourage more of their classmates to vote.
"Everyone is all about easy access, so it is easy to go to an event and do it with a big group of people," said Sarube.
"Going with someone else to kind of support you, to say lets do our civic duty, it is very encouraging," added Charlotte Kornegay, a UNCW senior.
They weren't alone. About a dozen candidates running for office made the stroll with them.
"Being from Charlotte and being registered to vote here, it really is nice to meet some of them and put a face to the name before I vote," said Regan.
The students said the issues matter to them.
"I know a lot of young people in particular have been upset about things like House Bill 2 and student debt, they are upset about these things that impact our lives," said Becki Fernandez, a UNCW junior.
And, like others walking to the polls, Fernandez said she knows the best way she ask for change is to cast a ballot.
'Run to the Polls' is part of a greater UNCW Communication Studies applied learning course, whose initiative is to both mobilize and inform voters and is sponsored through a partnership with the city.
“Civic engagement is at the cornerstone of our educational objectives, and Run to the Polls is a fabulous example of students, candidates and community coming together to increase voter knowledge, involvement and turnout,” Dr. Jennifer Brubaker, course instructor and event organizer, stated.
“We are so excited to see our young people literally running to the polls, capturing the enthusiasm and energy that makes the university so critical to our community,” Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said.
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