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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Student Government Association, Bridge, FLIP team up to provide transportation to off-campus early voting sites for student voters

Zemira Recio / Hilltop Views
Student organizations team up to provide accessible early voting options for students. They provided shuttles to transport students to and from early voting locations that are off-campus. Shuttle dates are Feb. 21, Feb. 27 and Mar. 1.

The Student Government Association (SGA), Bridge and Feminist Leadership in Politics (FLIP) teamed up with SEU Student Involvement to provide students with transportation to off-campus early voting locations. 

“The university is continuing to work with Travis County to set up an effective and sustainable method of getting early voting either on campus or getting people transported to early voting locations,” SGA President Mikayla Pastrano said.

Last semester, students and leaders of the organization Texas Rising took up many opportunities to table on our campus to educate students on the hilltop about voting and the upcoming election season that is fast approaching. 

One of the main goals of this organization was to advocate for our campus to become an early voting location. This initiative could not be carried out, so a solution was sought out.

The shuttles began running on Feb. 21. To use the shuttles, students can meet outside Jones Auditorium. The shuttle route takes students to and from the South Austin Recreation Center, the closest early voting site to campus. The shuttles will continue to make trips on Feb. 27 and Mar. 1 from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m..

SGA, Bridge and FLIP took this initiative because they are student groups dedicated to aspects of student engagement in a political setting. 

“It was just really a collaborative effort,” Pastrano said. “We wanted to make sure that the student body had an option to get to an early voting location.”

Senior Olivia Prior, SGA senator and FLIP co-president, was one of the many students behind the possibility of this project due to her involvement with both SGA and FLIP. 

“Student orgs are helping do the event and get students to participate in the shuttles and utilize them,” Prior said.

SGA has a working role in making this resource possible. Pastrano said that she and SGA Vice President Justin Trevino wanted to somehow come up with an effective way to provide students with options for early voting access. SGA sought the help and partnership of FLIP and Bridge because both organizations have extra experience with voter education and engagement.

“SGA’s job is to push out the idea of civic engagement, but it’s not necessarily our expertise,” Pastrano said. “So, we wanted to collaborate with different organizations.”

Pastrano explains that along with the help of Bridge and FLIP, Student Involvement also plays a major role in the initiative, as they were the ones that provided the shuttles.

“We partnered up with Student Involvement to afford the shuttles and to be able to provide transportation to those who maybe don’t have the proper means to get to the nearest early voting location,” Pastrano said.

Based on the feedback and student turnout of the early voting shuttles during this 3-day “trial” period, Pastrano says they will be looking at this resource again for future elections. 

“We’re going to take member and community feedback to see how we can work to improve,” Pastrano said. “I am hoping it’s going to be a sustainable plan for the future.”

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About the Contributor
Zemira Recio
Zemira Recio, Staff Writer
Zemira is a freshman and this is her first year being a Staff Writer for Hilltop Views. She is a political science major and aspires to become a lawyer someday. When she's not writing or doing schoolwork, her favorite past times are reading and painting.

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