On Thursday, October 22, the Alcorn National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Chapter and MS Votes presented ‘Sipp Talk’. The event was put into place to encourage students to go vote in this upcoming Presidential election being held November 3, 2020. The event was held on ‘The Green’ outside of the Dr. Clinton Bristow Jr. Dining Facility.
Throughout the event there were tables set up that encouraged students to stay safe during the COVID-19 crisis with a sanitation station that provided hand sanitizer and masks. There were also outlines of circles on the ground that promoted 6 feet social distancing. One table was set up to prompt students to research the Presidential candidates. On the table were “I Pledge” cards that students could write on to express why they planned on voting and the importance of it. The cards also had a barcode that directed students to msvotes.org. The website is powered by an organization that is invested in the progression of Mississippi. The barcodes allow for visitors to get a brief summary of all candidates, walk through a practice ballot and inform visitors of where they can vote according to where they live.
Calvert White, President of the NAACP chapter at Alcorn State University (ASU) for the past two years, was in charge of planning the event. According to White, the actions leading up to the event were intense but with the help of the faculty and staff the event came together in a week and a half. He stated, “Since the election isn’t something that Alcornites or Mississippians are thinking about constantly, it’s hard to get them focused on it and unfortunately there is a 26% voting turnout rate in Mississippi which is not stellar. That is one of reasons why we’re having this event so that we can show how important voting is.”
Alysia Evans, an Agriculture major, said, “As an out of state student I hope this event can not only educate Mississippi students to better understand what’s going on in the world but also on the state level as well.”
Alcorn is one of the few colleges that provides a voting precinct on campus for their students. The precinct will be set up in the Davey L. Whitney gym from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on November 3, 2020.