“Vote or Die!” This seems to be the catch phrase that every hip-hop voter is living by, but do Dillard students match up?
On Saturday, Sept. 25 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People hosted a voter registration drive on Kabacoff Quadrangle.
Joshua Lowe, vice president for Dillard’s NAACP, admitted that the turnout was not what he expected.
"I thought that at least 100 students would register to vote, but we only got 45 to 50 students that came to the table," Lowe said.
Dillard students were also let down by the no show of hip-hop icons, Tweet and Cee-Lo. Tweet and Cee-Lo were both scheduled to appear at the University of New Orleans and Xavier University, also.
Te Anne Jones, a sophomore for Chicago, expressed her emotions on the cancellation of the performance.
"I was upset that I waited from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and nobody showed up. I hate how celebrities say they are going to do one thing but end up doing another," Jones said.
In response to the students’ disappointment, Lowe clarified that his organization did not have any control over the performers.
Despite the no-show on Saturday, Dillard successfully helped register nearly 400 people on campus and in the New Orleans community. This semester, they plan to host a Republican vs. Democrat party debate. They hope the debate will educate students on the issues that both parties support.
Other campus organizations that have contributed to the registration process include African American Males tutorial, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the Association of Black Engineers, College Democrats, and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Sgt. Artis Hicks, manager of Straight Hall, explained that he is very proud of the involvement of the different social groups.
"I am glad these organizations are getting students involved in the voting process," Hicks said.
Nationally, the NAACP Voter Empowerment Program has increased awareness and participation among African American people to vote.
This program has formed partnerships with several other major organizations in the black community including churches, sororities, fraternities, social clubs, civil rights organizations and labor unions, according to its website.
With the presidential election right around the corner, the effort by such groups to push blacks to vote is increasing. They are also trying to educate African Americans that their vote does not matter but it does matter.
Ralph James, a sophomore from New Orleans, is registered to vote and said he plans to make a difference.
"I am tired of always hearing black folks complain about what is going wrong or not going on in their community, but they aren’t trying to make a change," James said.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the 2000 election, the lowest voting rates belonged to 18 to 24-year-olds.