By Gillian Taylor | Staff Writer
With Election Day right around the corner, Baylor is taking steps to ensure that students are able to exercise their right to vote by providing a free shuttle service to the downtown voting site.
The shuttles will run every 15-20 minutes, picking students up outside of Penland Dining Hall and taking them directly to the closest voting location at the Waco Convention Center. The shuttle service will begin at 8 a.m., with the last ride at 5 p.m.
Baylor spokesperson Lori Fogleman said Baylor is partnering with Waco Transit to provide this service to the Baylor community.
Woodlands junior and Baylor external vice president Nick Madincea said he will be taking the shuttle along with student body president Hunter Walker and President Linda Livingstone. He said he encourages other students to join them.
“My hope would be that the shuttle removes a barrier for someone looking to get out and vote,” Madincea said.
Student government members have worked on advertising the shuttle service by word-of-mouth and by sharing information about it on social media, Madincea said.
“We announced it to the 100 members or so in 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 also offered a shuttle service for early voting on Oct. 28 and Nov. 1.
“The past 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 Election Day,” Fogleman said.
Baylor continues to explore the possibility of having a voting location on Baylor’s campus in the future, but it must take into account that the site wouldn’t be for student-voters only. Parking and security are two factors that would need to be addressed for a voting site to be available to the public. Fogleman said the free shuttle was a great alternative to still provide students the convenience to cast their ballots.
Madincea said Baylor students shouldn’t underestimate the opportunity to vote in the upcoming election, and no matter which candidates people are voting for, their choice matters.
“College is a great time to form your lifelong habits, and voting should absolutely be one of those because it is a pillar of American democracy and society,” Madincea said. “So it’s really critical, and I think students definitely should go out there and do it. Make your voice be heard.”