By Gillian Taylor | Personal editor
With Election Day fast approaching, Baylor is taking steps to ensure students can exercise their right to vote by providing free shuttle service to the downtown voting site.
Shuttles will run every 15-20 minutes, picking up students outside the Penland Dining Hall and taking them directly to the nearest voting location at the Waco Convention Center. The shuttle service will begin at 8:00 a.m., with the last trip at 5:00 p.m.
Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said Baylor partners with Waco Transit to provide this service to the Baylor community.
Nick Madincea, a Woodlands junior and external vice president at Baylor, said he would be shuttled with student body president Hunter Walker and president Linda Livingstone. He says he encourages other students to join them.
“I hope the shuttle removes a barrier for someone looking to get out and vote,” Madincea said.
Student government members have been working on publicizing the shuttle service through word of mouth and by sharing information about it on social media, Madincea said.
“We announced it to the 100 or so members of student government, and since they are all leaders from different corners of campus, we hope they will share it with their respective communities,” Madincea said.
Fogleman said Baylor is also offering shuttle service for early voting on Oct. 28 and Nov. 1.
“In the past, the focus has been on voter registration, but this year student leaders met with Student Life and encouraged the university to provide a free shuttle during the early voting period and on the day of ballot,” Fogleman said.
Baylor continues to explore the possibility of having a polling location on the Baylor campus in the future, but must take into account that the site would not be restricted to student-voters. Parking and security are two factors that should be considered for a polling place to be accessible to the public. Fogleman said the free shuttle was a great alternative for giving students the opportunity to vote.
Madincea said Baylor students shouldn’t underestimate the possibility of voting in the upcoming election, and no matter which candidates people vote for, their choice matters.
“College is a great time to form your life habits, and voting should definitely be a part of that because it’s a pillar of American democracy and society,” Madincea said. “So it’s really essential, and I think students should definitely go out there and do it. Make your voice heard.