By Mason Votes Staff Writer Ethan Vaughan
For the second year in a row, the Mason Votes Vans will ferry students from George Mason University’s Fairfax campus to their designated polling place, Woodson High School in Fairfax.
The Mason Votes Vans will run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and will pick students up from the front of Sandy Creek Parking Deck, where the shuttles and Gunston Go Bus usually run.
Staffed by drivers from Student Government, the two seven-passenger mini-vans will alternate trips, with one heading to the polls while the other is departing, with the goal of ensuring that no student has to wait more than a few minutes for a ride.
Students at the stop will be provided with snacks, drinks and campaign literature from all candidates.
The program provided 400 students with transportation to the polls in 2008, though SG officials acknowledge that fewer people are likely to participate this time around.
“2008 was a historic election so it was easier to promote,” said Student Senate Speaker Mhehvish Khan. “This year, we’ll be working even harder to do that.”
Pete Danjczek, chief of staff to SG President Devraj Dasgupta, said he thought there would be “far fewer riders in 2009, but qualified that SG would try to make up for the deficit with “the passion of last year.”
Danjczek said that members of the fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha would be dispersed throughout the Johnson Center and near Southside letting people know about the shuttle service and distributing campaign literature.
“We want students to understand why they’re voting,” Danjczek emphasized. “We’re handing out an unbiased page of platforms from the candidates’ websites, using their wording. We’re not doing much interpretation.”