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Black Student Alliance members explained why it's so important for people to vote in this election. 

With a historical election in full-swing, Iowa State students explained it is more important than ever for students to head to the polls.

Iowa State’s Black Student Alliance (BSA) marched from the Memorial Union to the Union Drive Community Center (UDCC). This event, “Marching to the Polls,” was at 2 p.m. Tuesday to encourage students to vote.

Joseph Putman, a junior in industrial engineering and vice president of BSA, described this event as a way to reach students who need extra support or encouragement to go to the polls.

“Our purpose is to make sure our people have all of the resources needed to vote,” Putman said. “We want to surround all of the Black students and other minorities so they can go get their vote in. Some don’t feel comfortable enough to go vote by themselves.”

The group to march to the UDCC was not as large as it has been in previous years. India Robinson, a sophomore in English and president of BSA, noted there were already a lot of students who voted early this year.

“We’re scooping up the last bunch of people who need that support to go vote,” Robinson said. “We’ve been asking them to consider what they want to see these next four years in the country and at Iowa State.”

Robinson also said BSA held a meeting about political education last Thursday to prepare for Election Day. She said she emphasized the importance of students being informed about the candidates and about the process of voting.

The march from the Memorial Union to the UDCC was exciting and enjoyable due to the warm weather. Most participants who marched to the UDCC had voted before, but Alexander Shaw, a freshman in cyber security engineering, was going to vote for the first time.

“I’m excited,” Shaw said. “It doesn’t matter how you vote because you can make a difference regardless. I’m really a minority here in Iowa, so every vote matters for me.”

BSA’s goal is to uplift and empower Iowa State students of African descent through academic, professional, cultural and social programs. Marching to the Polls accomplished this by providing an encouraging and safe space for students to exercise their right to vote.

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Students gather at the Memorial Union in order to march to the election polls at the UDCC. 

BSA holds meetings every other Thursday to have open discussions on a variety of topics, and students can stay updated through BSA’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

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