By Ashley St. John
With the presidential election quickly approaching, many people are registering and advocating for registration, especially for first-time voters. The SUNY Plattsburgh women’s soccer team is among those who are voicing their opinions and encouraging others to get out and vote this year.
The women’s team posted on their Instagram Oct. 4 they were 100% registered to vote.
“We are so proud to announce that our Women’s Soccer Team and Coaching Staff are 100% registered to vote. We challenge the following teams to do the same as well. #pride #athletesvote,” their post said.
The caption tagged many other teams including SUNY Plattsburgh women’s and men’s basketball, men’s soccer, tennis and more.
Associate Head Coach Frantzy Noze of the women’s soccer team originally saw the idea from Brown University’s women’s soccer and decided to bring it to SUNY Plattsburgh. Head Coach Tania Armellino said Noze thought it was such a great idea and just ran with it.
Armellino said they talked about the idea as coaches then decided to challenge their team to register, telling the players to let them know when and if they register.
“They all jumped on it, and we got a 100% participation.” Armellino said. “The team responded beautifully.”
Posting and challenging other teams to get 100% registered was the push that some other teams needed. SUNY Plattsburgh women’s lacrosse team and SUNY Geneseo’s women’s soccer both accepted the challenge, and their teams are fully registered to vote.
“I think it was a motivational thing to encourage other teams to register to vote and to get them more active in this year’s election,” senior and captain Abbie Seamans said.
Seamans said she feels it’s important to show as a team they are all active not just in the community but in the country and care about what’s going on in the world.
“There’s been people before us that have fought really hard to give us these civil rights,” Seamans said. “I think it’s important that we show that we appreciate that and that we use them. Everyone talks about change, and I think one of the easiest steps but hardest steps is registering to vote and actually getting active.”
Junior Samantha Cloidt said posting on Instagram helps bring awareness to the election. Cloidt also said she feels many college students don’t realize how important it actually is to be registered and vote.
“Now that we’re all adults, it’s something that we should be doing,” Cloidt said. “It’s not just something we hear our parents are doing now.”
Along with registering to vote, the team also gets involved with other important issues in the community by holding awareness matches, holding raffles and selling t-shirts for one specific cause during a normal season. This semester, Armellino said, is a bit different because COVID-19 has affected it.
The team does a POTS awareness game because one of the women’s soccer alumnas, Caitlin Gagen, was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, a condition that affects blood flow circulation, while a student at SUNY Plattsburgh. In order to still bring awareness to POTS without holding a physical game, the team decided to hold a Facebook Live event with Gagen to have a discussion and virtually raise money for the cause.
“We still want to support Caitlin even if it’s remotely and even if our team can’t be together,” Armellino said.
Cloidt said she feels like letting others know they’re staying active in the community shows they care by giving their opinions and spreading the word.
“I’m really proud of the girls for taking part [in registering to vote] and proud of the teams for accepting the challenge,” Armellino said. “I think it’s an amazing thing.”