NVC group educates on the political climate and registers voters.
By Zachary-Taylor Wright
Younger generations have long been accused of political stagnancy and consistently have the lowest voter turnout compared to other age groups; however, a group of Northwest Vista College students is showing that not all young people are indifferent or politically removed.
Project Dem is a group of students at NVC who mostly align with the Democratic Party.
The group is dedicated to informing students of issues on campus and removing “the stigma associated with party alignment by wearing shirts related to the campaign they support,” said the club’s adviser, Mark Camann.
Camann said the group helped hundreds of students register to vote by hosting a drive where “devoted voter registrars” — working with the Mobilize. Organize. Vote. Empower. San Antonio Foundation — set up tables in high-traffic areas of campus.
Students in Project Dem are fully committed to opening up a public dialogue about political and social issues.
For example, the group screened “Sicko,” a documentary released in 2007 that covers the health care crisis in the United States prior to the implementation of The Affordable Care Act in 2010.
Hannah Reinhard, Project Dem and NVC Student Government Association president, joined the group to make an impact on students’ lives by getting them involved with politics and more aware of the political climate.
Reinhard had experience with political volunteering before joining the club — she canvassed for U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Texas, who served 2013-2015 — but really wants to expand the club’s presence on campus so students are more aware of political issues.
“I really want to encourage students to align with a party or even start a Republican Party political group on campus,” Reinhard said.
“They (students) should be aware of what’s going on because I know a lot of students don’t watch the news and don’t want to read a newspaper, but it impacts them. You have a voice. You should see these issues going on, and you should try to make a difference.”
Reinhard mentioned the importance of presidential elections and the impact they will have on students’ lives as a motivation for the voter registration drive they held with MOVE San Antonio.
“The president we choose now is going to affect our lives,” Reinhard said.
“It can impact how much we pay for college. It can impact when we start buying houses. It affects their future; they may think it doesn’t have any impact on them, but it does.”
Reinhard is passionate about student involvement with politics and ensuring that students know their voice matters.
“I don’t think students are involved enough right now,” Reinhard said.
“They have so many excuses not to care about what’s going on politically because they say that this election is a joke and nothing they do can make a difference. Just ask Al Gore — every vote counts.”
Project Dem is planning to partner with MOVE San Antonio again to screen “The 13th” — a documentary on Netflix exploring racial inequality in the United States — to inform students of racial issues and injustices in the current justice system, Reinhard said.
Reinhard suggests students looking to get more involved find what they’re passionate about in politics and pursue it with vigor.
“Don’t be afraid to get out there and share your opinion because someone may have the same opinion as you,” Reinhard said.
“Help elders and students in the community get involved. I definitely think students should want to do more than just go to school or work. They should find that passion that keeps them going.”