By Lisa Rich
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
With the help of local Tucson community members, the UA Young Democrats kicked off a new project, "Tailgating for Kerry," before Saturday's football game.
UAYD president and political science senior Alicia Cybulski said the new campaign focuses on increasing voter registration and voter participation via out-of-state ballot, as well as informing students about the Democratic choice for the November election, Sen. John Kerry.
"Voter registration is important because it's the first step in the voting process. [Students] need to be part of the election so the politicians elected keep to their promises so they can be re-elected," Cybulski said.
UA alumnus Dave Deibel and his wife Kim Fitch, who have hosted their own tailgate parties for years on the UA Mall, offered to share their space with the UAYD because they support the Democratic party.
Renting a tailgating spot on the Mall for the football season costs $355, but Deibel let the UAYD share his spot free of charge.
While student turnout at UAYD's first tailgate was low, a few community members and Kerry supporters stopped by to visit the tailgaters in the rain before the game.
Cybulski said one of the major benefits of the Tailgating for Kerry project is working with Tucson residents to "increase ties between the university and community."
Cybulski said as far as she knows, the UAYD is the only chapter of the Young Democrats in Arizona to take part in the Tailgating for Kerry project.
With over 650 registered members, Cybulski said the UAYD also works closely with the Pima County Democratic Party and the UA Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Atzlán (M.E.Ch.A) group in areas of increasing voter participation among Hispanics.
With the rise in Hispanic population, Cybulski stated that the UAYD would be looking into ideas regarding Hispanic voters in the near future.
The UAYD will be tailgating for Kerry in front of the Ina E. Gittings building before every home football game.
Cybulski said the UAYD also has a table set up Monday through Thursday on the Mall where students can register to vote, obtain information for out-of-state voting, and learn more about the Democratic Party.
In addition to voter material and information, students can also get free merchandise like bumper stickers and buttons.