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September 25, 2018

Oswego students ‘Rocked the Vote’ in semester-long campaign


OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego students supported the national Rock the Vote effort, turning out on Election Night to vote for local, state and national offices — and for “Oswego’s Best Pizza.”

Caitlin Roberts (left), graduate assistant with Civic Engagement in SUNY Oswego's Office of Business and Community Relations, presents owner Kevin Prell and (from left) Josh Jimenez, Chris Prell and Corey Barker of The Pie Guys, with a certificate for the pizza shop's win in an Election Night contest for "Oswego's Best Pizza," held in conjunction with Rock the Vote efforts to encourage students to go to the polls.

Caitlin Roberts (left), graduate assistant with Civic Engagement in SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations, presents owner Kevin Prell and (from left) Josh Jimenez, Chris Prell and Corey Barker of The Pie Guys, with a certificate for the pizza shop’s win in an Election Night contest for “Oswego’s Best Pizza,” held in conjunction with Rock the Vote efforts to encourage students to go to the polls.

The Election Night party in the Marano Campus Center culminated a semester-long effort that included voter-registration efforts, a focus on the Constitution and a campus-community panel discussion on student rights and responsibilities.

As a part of Rock the Vote’s post-election party, Oswego-area pizza shops donated their signature pies to compete for “Oswego’s Best Pizza.”

Students attending the event were able to sample each pizza in a blind taste test and vote for their favorite.

The Pie Guys unseated the last champion, Mark’s Pizzeria, for a two-year reign.

The shop on State Route 104 near the campus will defend its title during the 2016 presidential election.

Students at the party answered political trivia questions for prizes, engaged in a table tennis tournament — Justin D’Antonio took first place and Alex McCarthy second — and watched election results as they came in on regional, national and SUNY Oswego’s WTOP television stations.

Student Lissy Alcantara won the grand prize drawing for an iPad Mini.

This year’s Rock the Vote campaign launched with a student signing of the Constitution in September on Constitution Day.

Students received pocket-sized Constitutions to keep for reference.

Throughout the semester, Rock the Vote had informational tables set up in the Marano Campus Center, registering students to vote and assisting students with absentee applications.

Volunteers around campus and at athletic events gave out Rock the Vote pins and T-shirts encouraging students to be more civically engaged.

In October, a students’ rights and responsibilities panel discussion featured presenters Gregory Oaks, Oswego County District Attorney; Lt. Zachary Mitztel of Oswego City Police; University Police Lt. Mark Dermody; and Lisa Evaneski, the college’s associate dean of students and Title IX coordinator.

Students who attended learned how to become valued community members and learned a bit about the law as it pertains to their rights and the potential consequences of undesirable behavior.

For more information on Rock the Vote — a nonprofit, nonpartisan national organization that has used music, art and technology for nearly 25 years to motivate young people to go to the polls — visit www.rockthevote.org

At SUNY Oswego, Rock the Vote is an initiative of Civic Engagement under Tammy Elowsky in the Office of Business and Community Relations.

The Election Night event was coordinated by Elowsky and Civic Engagement graduate assistant Caitlin Roberts, in collaboration with the college’s Student Association, political science department, student Democratic and Republican clubs, Table Tennis Club, instructor Denise DiRienzo’s event planning class and Residence Life and Housing.

For more information on Civic Engagement at SUNY Oswego, visit www.oswego.edu/civic

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