Eager Mount St. Mary's College students registered for the 2012 election at its two campuses Tuesday, with many excited to exercise their right to vote for the first time. The importance of voting to support women's rights, as well supporting education for undocumented students were common themes at the predominantly female Chalon campus in Brentwood.
Juniors Katrina Hernandez, Sarah Bautista and Yanelli Ruelas of the Women's Leadership Office held a booth with stacks of registration forms, as well as popular "Smart Women Vote 2012" pins, tattoos and decorated American flags. Taking turn in shifts, the three students said they handed out more than 50 forms each.
"Everyone was really esctatic," Hernandez said, adding that word of mouth got around campus about voter registration, most likely from some professors.
Bautista said many students were taking advantage of changing their home address to the campus so they wouldn't be voting through absentee ballots in their hometowns. Also, the school has reportedly arranged for shuttles to drive students to nearby polling places on Election Day. Some students who didn't have all their information Tuesday were able to come back to the office to finish registration.
Bautista added that some students have been on the fence about the presidential election. Ruelas, admitting her support, attested that a lot of students say they are voting for President Barack Obama versus challenger Mitt Romney.
"I worked the polls for the first time in 2008," Bautista said. "It's cool now to be able to vote."
Senior Izamar Santamaria said she was voting Democratic because they offer more help for undocument students who fall under AB540, which is a state law that allows qualified undocumented students to pay in-state tuition, rather than out of state tuition at California's higher education centers.
"My sister is an AB540 student," Santamaria said.