Towering in front of the quad gazebo, a Rosie the Riveter inflatable balloon could be seen by all students walking to their classes during common hour on Tuesday to draw attention to the non-partisan rally being hosted in the quad.
This time however, Rosie’s mission was not to get anyone to buy war bonds. Her mission was to get Slippery Rock students out of the rain and out to the polls this November.
Incumbent Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is running as the Republican’s candidate and businessman Tom Wolf is running on the Democratic ticket.
The gazebo offered a brief respite from the wind and rain on the walk to class Tuesday afternoon where Representatives from the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) set up an event called “Ballots and Burgers” to get Slippery Rock students motivated for Pennsylvania’s upcoming election for governor.
The event provided refreshments such as hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, chips and soda to students walking to class. The hamburgers and hot dogs were cooked on a grill by volunteers braving the weather underneath a tree.
As they ate their refreshments, students could sit in chairs provided by the volunteers and listen to the music playing on the stereos. Volunteers walked about the crowd providing students with information regarding absentee ballots.
Students could also take a number of political flyers and buttons on the tables. Many students posed for pictures in front of the Rosie the Riveter inflatable balloon.
Another activity set up during the hour allowed visiting students and faculty to write down on a small poster the reason why they were voting in the upcoming election.
“Politics is my passion,” read one poster. “It is my civic duty,” read another. Other posters were more impassioned, “I do not want to pay any more for college,” wrote one student.
As the hour went on, volunteers from the AFSCME and the APSCUF gave brief but impassioned pep talks to the students and faculty members gathered in the gazebo.
“I believe in access to education for everyone,” proclaimed one speaker. “Let’s get a governor who supports education!”
As the event drew to a close and students went to their next classes, volunteers had passed out a number of fliers and informative materials, as well as registering many students to vote by the end of the event. Students were now registered and those in attendance were informed on the candidates running for office and their policies. Now it will be a matter of getting those registered out to the polls on Nov. 6.
For those students who have not yet registered, the deadline has now passed. However, those students who will not be present in their hometowns can still request an absentee ballot before Oct. 28.
For those students registered to vote, the polling stations will be at the Slippery Rock Township building behind the Intermural Fields and in the Slippery Rock Borough Building located near the Slippery Rock Community Park.