University students use shuttles, public transport to get to polls



Catherine Hamilton

Students, professors and the city of Philadelphia prepared for a historical and life changing day as they head out to the polls to vote for their next president. Villanova shuttled students to their assigned polling stations throughout the day, and both Uber and Lyft offered free rides to voters traveling to their polling locations. The SEPTA strike ended Monday, allowing Philadelphians to utilize public transportation to cast their votes. 

The strike ended just in time to alieve potential impact on results in Philadelphia. Without Septa, many voters lack a way to get to their polling stations. SEPTA subways, trains and buses provide approximately 1 million rides a day. 

Many University students registered for an absentee ballot from their hometowns, but others chose to vote in Pennsylvania. As a swing state Pennsylvania was said to have more unprecedented control in this election. According to the Campus Activities Team, 850 students took advantage of the Villanova shuttles that left every half hour from various locations on campus. 

On Monday night Philadelphia kicked off the election by hosting a large rally in front of Independence Mall. The Clintons, the Obamas, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi were all in attendance. The event included an array of speeches and performances by Springsteen and Jovi. 

Perhaps due of the radical differences between candidates, many feel an increased responsibility to vote. Even students studying abroad firmly believe that they must cast votes in this election. 

“Even though I am in another country for the semester I made it an utmost priority to vote because this is an extremely high stake election and everyone’s vote is extremely important for the political agenda for decades to come,” Lindsay Melley, a junior studying in Barcelona, said. “Especially as young college students this election will be crucial in determining the future of what type of country we will live in.”

Charles Taylor, a professor in the Marketing department, shared his thoughts on why this election differs from previous ones. 

 “It was a little more crowded than I expected but most people were pretty low key,” Taylor said. “There were not a lot of active supporters for the candidates there. I think the two presidential candidates are not very popular so people do not want to advertise who they voted for. They put a sticker on my jacket [I voted sticker] and I did not feel comfortable keeping it on there. I think if this were other election I might have been more comfortable wearing the sticker.”

Professor James Glasgow of VSB has several years of experience working the polls in Illinois and Pennsylvania. “The overall atmosphere at the voting site is really business as usual,” Glasgow said in an email. “There were many first-time voters who were very excited to exercise their privilege and there were also a reasonable number of elderly people who were very excited to exercise their privilege. …and everything in between.”

“I have a significant background in business,” Glasgow continued. “My analogy would be that if I had a corporation and was searching for a CEO to lead it, I would have high expectations regarding the character, integrity and track record of any individual that we would consider and eventually hire. If these were the two candidates presented to me by a search firm I would reject them both and start a new search.”