For National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, the Michigan State University Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. set up a voting registration table at the Wells Hall Courtyard.
The event was held in conjunction with the Zeta Delta chapter and the Kappa Delta Lambda chapter of the fraternity. The Zeta Delta chapter represents current members, while the Kappa Delta Lambda chapter represents graduates.
According to communications senior Brandon Foster, who is also the Zeta Delta chapter Historian, the goal of the event was to not only get people registered to vote, but to also teach people the importance of voting education.
“Everyone should have a voice when it comes to making the world a better place,” Foster said.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is the oldest existing intercollegiate, historically African American fraternity. According to their website, some of organization’s objectives include stimulating the ambition of its members, aiding downtrodden humanity in its effort to achieve higher social, economic, and intellectual status and to encouraging the “highest and noblest form of manhood.”
Human biology and neuroscience senior Marcus McDaniel Jr. stressed the importance of people of color having representation when it comes to voter registration.
“We want to ensure that within minoritized and marginalized communities, they see people who look like them,” McDaniel said.
Kappa Delta Lambda chapter member Michael Coleman is chair of the "A Voteless People is a Hopeless People" committee within the fraternity. Like McDaniel, Coleman said advocating for representation within Michigan is of utmost importance.
“Even on MSU’s campus, underrepresented minorities still are underrepresented when it comes to registration to vote,” Coleman said.
Coleman and Foster explained that "A Voteless People is a Hopeless People" was founded in the 1930s, when many African Americans were prevented from voting due to poll taxes, inaccessibility and lack of education about the voting process.
Other than voter registration tables, Coleman said, the two MSU chapters also do candidacy forms and online educational videos that discuss how the Michigan governmental structure is organized.
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