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Alpha Phi Alpha encourages student voting

By Steven Smirti, Special to The Chronicle

Alpha Phi Alpha will be hosting a voter registration drive in the multipurpose room west on Sept. 16 from 8-10 p.m.

The event is part of the fraternity's national program, "A Voteless People is a Hopeless People," which started in the 1930s as an effort to register blacks to vote. In the last 20 years, the initiative broadened to include increased political awareness and empowerment.

"I believe registering to vote is very important," said Alpha Phi Alpha Hofstra chapter President Andre Derricotte. "Everyone needs to utilize their given right to vote."

Derricotte feels that by not registering, people aren't able to have their voice be heard or their concerns be addressed. "The greatest way for people to use their ‘voice' is to vote," Derricotte said.

Derricotte was first involved with voter registration during the 2008 Presidential campaign. "I was part of ‘P. Diddy's Vote or Die' campaign and now I would like to continue this initiative with my fraternity's ‘A Voteless People is a Hopeless People' campaign," Derricotte said.

Although the 2008 presidential election saw the largest youth turnout in recent times, there are still many students apathetic to the process. "I honestly do not know why so many college students are not registered to vote," Derricotte said. "Hopefully this initiative can forever change people who are not registered to vote at Hofstra University and other campuses that share this same initiative."

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