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Students enthusiastic as Warren−Brown race draws to close

Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 07:11

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MCT

Students have played an active role during the campaign for the state senatorial seat.

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MCT


The semester−long efforts of student groups Tufts Students for Elizabeth Warren (Tufts for Warren) and Tufts Republicans to get students volunteering and voting in the Massachusetts Senate race will come to a head today.

Tufts for Warren is working to elect Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and has been conducting drives to enlist student volunteers for Warren at the dining halls and at the Mayer Campus Center, according to Tufts for Warren Campus Coordinator Maggie Morrow, a sophomore. At these drives, interns distributed forms to students wanting to pledge to support Warren and, in turn, students indicated interest in assisting with events on campus, phone banking and Election Day activities.

“If people were undecided, we also had a lot of student−based literature on what Elizabeth Warren can do for students,” Morrow said.

Since Oct. 17, Massachusetts’ voter registration deadline, Tufts for Warren has made over 1,500 calls to people who have registered to vote through the group, as well as 18 to 25 year olds in the Medford/Somerville area, Morrow said.

“We [have been] doing three sets of calls,” she said. “We [have been] calling to identify them [as supporters], we [have been] calling to remind them that Election Day is coming up and then we’re calling everyone on Election Day to see if they’ve voted.”

Tufts for Warren also worked on visibility at two of the three debates between Warren and Senator Scott Brown (R−Mass, LA ’81). The first was held at the WBZ−TV studios in Boston on Sept. 20, and the second at University of Massachusetts, Lowell on Oct. 1, Morrow said.

“We wanted to have a ton of volunteers and supporters out with signs,” she said.

She said that around 35 Tufts students held up signs at the Boston debate, while 12 attended the Lowell debate.

“The first debate was filmed just with cameras, the moderator and the two candidates, so we couldn’t go watch that one, but there were several students who went to the Lowell debate because it was focused on student issues,” she said.

The group has also traveled to other college campuses to campaign for Warren, according to Morrow. Around 30 Tufts students attended a rally for Warren at Boston University on Sept. 15. In mid−October, several Warren interns at Tufts held a voter registration drive and canvassed at University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, knocking on dormitory room doors to register students to vote. The group has also canvassed in other parts of the Greater Boston area.

Members of Tufts for Warren have worked with Tufts Votes to try to register the whole Tufts student body to vote since the beginning of September, Morrow said.

“We did at least two to three voter registration drives a week in [Dewick−MacPhie] and [Carmichael] Dining Halls and in the Campus Center,” she said.

Today, Tufts Votes will have a table set up in the Campus Center, as well as a telephone hotline, to help answer any questions people have about voting and polling locations, according to Morrow.

Tufts Republicans has encouraged Tufts students to vote for Brown, according to co−President of Tufts Republicans Bennett Gillogly. Gillogly, a junior, revived and reformed Tufts Republicans in mid−September after the group had effectively dissolved last semester.

“Tufts for Scott Brown decided to devote its entire semester to teaming up with Tufts Republicans, making that one entity and focusing the resources that Tufts Republicans has, using the name solely for Scott Brown from the start of the semester to the election,” he said.

To obtain a larger presence on campus at the beginning of the semester, 15 students from Tufts Republicans attended the debate between Warren and Brown at UMass Lowell, Gillogly said.

“We took a lot of pictures and worked on our social media aspect to show people that Tufts Republicans has changed as a group, and that sort of got people generally interested,” he said.

On Oct. 24, a group of around 13 students met Brown and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie outside a restaurant in Watertown while they were campaigning together, according to Gillogly.

“Afterwards [Brown] came up and talked to us for a while and took a picture with us,” he said. “We used that as another opportunity to put that on Facebook, help our social media and really just broaden our reach.”

Tufts Republicans has teamed up with Students for Scott Brown, the umbrella student organization that oversees the various student−run Scott Brown groups across the state, according to co−chair of Students for Scott Brown Marshall Hochhauser, a junior. Each Wednesday night, the Brown campaign hosts a College Night at its headquarters in South Boston.

“There has been a Tufts student at every single College Night this semester,” Gillogly said.

At the campaign headquarters, Tufts students have volunteered with phone banking and canvassing in the greater Boston area, Hochhauser said.

“We have student volunteers come from all across Massachusetts, and Tufts has had a great showing,” he said. “Tufts students have been a great help.”

Tufts Republicans focused on campus voter registration on an individual basis, according to Gillogly.

“Individuals in our group were given stacks of voter registration information to get friends registered and bring them back,” he said.

Hochhauser said he is optimistic about Brown’s chances.

“I think he has a great shot based on my first−hand experience,” he said. “I think he has a great shot of coming through.”

“We are very positive,” Gillogly added. “It’s such a diverse state politically with so many independent Democrats and Republicans that we try not to listen to any of the polling. We really just worry about ourselves and about doing the best that we can. We’ve been doing our best to earn people’s votes.”

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