Kappa Alpha Psi hosts “Presidential Race”

The black student fraternity held an event to promote millennials’ right to vote.

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Students wait for the next race to begin during Kappa Alpha Psi's "Presidential Race" event Friday. Patrick Delaney | Photo Editor

Joe Pye, News Editor

Kappa Alpha Psi and several other student groups hosted an event Friday to raise awareness of the importance of millennials voting in the upcoming presidential election.

The black Greek letter organization hosted the “Presidential Race,” a series of races where student participants ran at the Florida Atlantic Track and Field Complex from 6-9 p.m.

In addition to the hosts of the event, it was sponsored by the Florida Atlantic University College Democrats, Student Government, Progressive Black Men Incorporated, Phi Beta Sigma, The Women Empowerment Club, SISTUS and Konbit Kreyol.

The co-sponsoring groups all contributed $15 each to pay for trophies and ribbons, according to  Kappa Alpha Psi President Javonte Wilkerson.

Before the beginning of the races, Wilkerson, College Democrats Vice President Justin Atkins and Jessica McMillan — Student Government’s director of government relations — addressed the crowd of 200 students and club members about the significance of voting.

“Millennials have huge numbers of diversity in voters, with 50 percent being minorities,” said McMillan. “We have unique needs. No one, other than college students, care about our needs.”

Kappa Alpha Psi President Javonte Wilkerson and Student Government director of government relations Jessica McMillan address the crowd of students at the FAU Track and Field Complex Friday. Patrick Delaney | Photo Editor
Kappa Alpha Psi President Javonte Wilkerson and Student Government director of government relations Jessica McMillan address the crowd of students at the FAU Track and Field Complex Friday. Patrick Delaney | Photo Editor

Atkins then spoke on behalf of the College Democrats and the party’s candidate for the presidency, Hillary Clinton.

“Out of any demographic in this election, we have the most at stake. Student tuition has increased 60 percent since 2008,” he said. “There will be two seats open on the Supreme Court. Do you want Donald Trump to appoint these justices?”

After the speakers wrapped up, a member of the FAU women’s track team demonstrated to the participating runners various stretches and warm ups to avoid injuries.

The runs were split between men and women competitors, who ran a 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and a 4-x-100 meter relay.

The women raced first, followed by the men. In the 100-meter dash, student Sierra Griffin beat out nine other sprinters, while Yosiah Bohannon dashed ahead of 12 other men.

Participants in the Women's 100 meter race line up before the start of the event. Patrick Delaney | Photo Editor
Participants in the women’s 100-meter race line up before the start of the event. Patrick Delaney | Photo Editor

In the 200-meter sprint,  Adrea Wilson came in first of 11 sprinters while Edwin Jean-Baptist took first in the men’s sprint. For the 4-x-100 relay meter, Jasmine Rohoman’s team placed first while Jonny Rose’s team won in the men’s heat.

Winners were announced around 8:30 p.m. after the races came to an end.

“This went better than I expected,” Wilkerson said. “I loved the excitement of the races, the educational and political aspect of us trying to get people to register to vote.”

The members of Progressive Black Men Incorporated expressed their interest in the event and why they co-sponsored.

“We’re trying to get more people to register to vote,” said senior business management major Travis Platt, the treasurer of the student group. “We want to hit 10,000 registered voters by the end of the month. We’re setting up another event called ‘Power to the people,’ in a few weeks.”

According to Atkins, the College Democrats attended the event to mingle with students and answer questions they may have about the political process and the Democratic Party, including its influence on college affordability for students.

“We were invited here to give our spiel on Hillary Clinton and knockout any rumours about the campaign,” said Atkins. “We like to work with other organizations on campus. We’re the link between liberal students and legislature.”

Atkins stressed that being informed on the candidates running for office is something young people can and should do.

“It’s important that we actually register to vote and get out to the polls,” he said. “If you think your votes don’t count, you’re wrong, and that’s the only time I’d ever tell you you’re wrong.”

Kappa Alpha Psi President Javonte Wilkerson is the business manager for the University Press.

Joe Pye is the news editor of the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Jpeg3189.