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October 01, 2004
UD Rocks the Vote with MTV and Syrus

On Tuesday, October 19, 2004 the University of Dubuque's Student Government Association will host MTV's Rock the Vote - a non-profit, non-partisan organization that engages youth in the political process by incorporating the entertainment community and young adult culture into its activities. The event will take place in the McCormick Gymnasium on campus. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and the event begins at 7:00 p.m. Voter registration will be held before and after the event.

The spokesperson for the Rock the Vote event at UD is Syrus - one of the more recognizable characters from MTV's Real World - Boston. Syrus' outgoing personality and ability to ad-lib made him one of the more memorable cast members on the show, which reruns approximately twice per year on MTV. Syrus, either independently or with other celebrity talents, shares his experiences with the audience focusing primarily on diversity, relationships, and conflict resolution. He has spent nearly three years as a featured celebrity speaker on the "Rock the Vote" campaign. He speaks to the issues that pertain to the lives of students - from education to health care and all topics in between.

The Rock the Vote event is intended to mobilize young people to create positive social and political change in their lives and communities. The goal of Rock the Vote's media campaigns and street team activities is to increase youth voter turnout. Rock the Vote coordinates voter registration drives, get-out-the-vote events, and voter education efforts, all with the intention of ensuring that young people take advantage of their right to vote. In addition to the political aspect, Rock the Vote speakers take on a Q&A session about their lives and talk about their respective shows.

"The Rock the Vote Tour will help unite UD student organizations and the members of the Dubuque community," stated Amery McIntosh, president of the University's student government association. "For most students, this will be their first time to be a part of choosing the Nation's president. The Student Government Association wants to help students register, and take advantage of their privilege, to vote."

The Rock the Vote program, founded in 1990 in response to a wave of attacks on freedom of speech and artistic expression, harnesses cutting-edge trends and pop culture to make political participation cool. The program empowers young people to create change in their communities and take action on the issues they care about. Regardless of whether young adults are signing petitions, running for office, contacting their elected officials, or taking up a sign in protest, they are all "rocking the vote," or participating in the democratic process.