Students and alumna target youth politics with new Website

Political apathy is a characteristic commonly associated with members of Generation X. Many people perceive 18 to 25 year olds as the cultural opposite of their Baby Boomer parents who are known for their political activism during the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War.

Recent GW graduate Alexis Rice is out to disprove that theory.

The view is that (college-age students) are apathetic, that we don’t care, but I think that’s just a stereotype and that there are a lot of people our age making a difference, Rice said.

Rice, who majored in political communication at GW, is the editor in chief of Generationvote.com, a new Internet site that aims to politically inform and involve young adults across the nation.

She, along with her staff, aims to cater to the more specific interests of students and young professionals.

It’s a political site but it’s going to be done in a creative way because our audience is sophisticated, Rice said.

Generationvote.com, which will be launched July 4, is intended to educate a new generation of voters on political participation and political activism. The site is designed to provide useful political information in a fun and fresh format.

Young volunteers from around the nation, including students from the University of Pennsylvania, Oberlin College in Ohio, the University of Florida and GW staff the site.

Generationvote.com is affiliated with a recently formed GW student group Politics Bytes, which encourages students to use the Internet to get active in politics.

Rice said a section devoted to broadcasting students’ opinions is a highlight of the site.

We’re primarily going to have columns for college students by college students, Rice said.

Generationvote.com will feature issues that are pertinent to students, such as student loans, federal financial assistance and affirmative action.

The site will also provide coverage of the 2000 campaigns, an opinion/viewpoint section, political news and special reports.

Rice came up with the idea for the site when she was completing her undergraduate senior thesis on political participation on the Internet. Through her research, she said she found most of the sites on the Web were filled with general political information for all age groups. She said she realized few are geared to the younger voters.

Although the major source of funding has been private donations GW student Ben Getto, CEO of Generationvote.com, said the site is looking for advertisers to help sponsor the site. He said he hopes advertisers will not only provide revenue but publicity as well.

Our goal is to reach a lot of students, to have a large readership, and to get people involved politically, Rice said.

The group intends to publicize the site through word of mouth, politically oriented groups across the country, like the College Republicans and College Democrats, and through the Internet.

Most college students use the Internet so it’s a great medium to get your message across and it’s a great way to create grassroots effort, Rice said. The resources on the Internet and the power of the Internet are amazing.

The site will also provide links to other sites that cover the major Senate and House races, major campaign sites and sites that will allow students to register to vote.

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