But Monday, 15 people — all except one of whom were students — walked out of the bar as newly registered voters, ready to make their voices heard in the upcoming elections.
The J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association — a coalition dedicated to advancing African Americans in legal professions — hosted the voter registration drive at Looney’s alongside members of the League of Women Voters. The university’s African Students Association, Black Student Union and Terps for Obama also co-sponsored the event.
John Webster, a junior communication major and president of Terps for Obama, said the goal of the drive was to increase student participation in their government, especially among minorities.
“Students don’t often know that they can have their opinion out there and that it really does matter,” Webster said. “It’s important that they elect politicians who they feel will benefit them the most and stand up for what they believe in. Registering to vote is the first step towards making that happen.”
However, getting students to sign on to register was no easy task. Looney’s owners even offered free chicken wings to incentivize people to sign up.
“The biggest issue is that students don’t want to commit the time to register,” Webster said.
Sophomore letters and sciences major Cameron Mitchell, one of the students who registered at Looney’s, said she’s excited to vote in the upcoming election.
“I want to vote so I can have a say,” she said. “You can’t complain about what’s going on in the country if you didn’t make an effort to change it.”
— Madeleine List