The Graduate Association for Political Science’s (GAPS) Lumberjack the Vote event tried to inspire students to speak up and vote.
Undergraduate Coordinator Evan Welty organized the battle-of-the-bands style concert to reflect the event’s focus on voting. The event was held on Oct. 2, in the duBois Ball Room. In just over three weeks, Welty found two mayoral candidates, a local activist and six musical acts to fill the lineup.
Mayor Nabours, who is up for re-election, expressed ideas in a speech that warranted a response from some people.
“For tonight, we’re talking about voting. What I want to tell you is do not vote if you’re not going to vote knowledgeably,” Nabours said.
Welty did not approve of the Mayor’s words on voting. He turned to Facebook to share his thoughts on the topic. In it, he linked a video from the GAPS Facebook page that shows the majority of the Mayor’s speech.
“Political figures like [Mayor Jerry Neighbors] have the obligation to educate young people on the issues not deflecting the vote,” Welty said. “Young people care about the issues, students want to vote; however, they simply need someone to point them in the right direction.”
The other speakers present were Flagstaff Speak Up Organizer Robert Douglas and the Mayoral Candidate James Hasapis.
Douglas spoke about why he believes voting is important, and Hasapis attended the event to reach out to youth.
“I’m a big fan of getting the vote out and making sure the youth do vote,” Hasapis said. “This morning Jim [McCarthy], myself and Lanny Morrison spoke to a United States Government class on being involved in the political process and why it is important to being engaged.”
The music at the event covered a wide variety of artists ranging from a solo clarinet performance to several rappers.
The winning band, Nothing Add All, is a punk-reggae band which features an Northern Arizona University (NAU) student and alumni.
“It was a great experience. I’m surprised we won. We’ve never won anything,” said Marco Cornejo, Frontman for Nothing Add All.
The winners received a gift card from Absolute Bikes and Altitudes Bar & Grill and a plaque from GAPS celebrating their achievement.
The event was assisted by the Arizona Students Association, the College Republicans, the Young Democrats and Friends of Flagstaff’s Future.
“I contacted those groups to help out with the event and promote voter education and civic participation,” Welty said. “Some of those groups helped out, and some of them were perfect at the event. Some of them did not return my attempts to contact them.”
GAPS does an event every year, but there is no word on whether this event will be attempted again next year.
Nothing Add All can be found on Facebook and Reverbnation. Their CD, Suburban Manarchy, can be purchased on iTunes and Amazon.