(JACKSON, Miss.) — Two political science students took home cash awards for winning a ‘Get Out the Vote’ video competition recently sponsored by the Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts.
Ruby Pollock, a senior, won the first-place prize of $80 for her Halloween inspired theme. Rianna Davis, also a senior, took home the second-place prize of $50 for her take on polarizing public issues. Both winners are aspiring attorneys.
“The competition was so much fun to do, and I am so lucky to have had my family help me orchestrate [my video] and bring my creativity to life,” said Pollock. “Showing up at the polls is especially important for my generation because it is how we can use our power to make change.”
Davis said she was honored by her win.
“The video I created was [of thoughts that] kept coming to mind when thinking of the importance of voting. Too many people fought for our right to vote, and now it’s our job to use it,” she said.
The selection committee members were Dr. Emmanuel Nwagboso, associate professor of political science, Dr. Ray MiKell, visiting assistant professor of political science, and Dr. Bessie House-Soremekun, interim chair of the Department of Political Science.
“I am thrilled that our political science students were able to make the important connection between political thought and political action. Voting is one of the most fundamentally important political acts that citizens can take in a democratic society,” said House-Soremekun, also a professor of political science.
Mikell explained that the department aimed to encourage students to find ways of increasing voter participation.
“It was a hard call guessing which tactic would work better, at least with a short video, among our favorites,” he said.
Mikell called Pollock’s Halloween-themed video entertaining, eye-catching and straight to the point. The intent was to show that not voting frightened Pollock more than the idea of ghosts and goblins, he explained.
“So, get out there and vote, as if your life depends on it,” Mikell asserted.
The visiting assistant professor characterized Davis’s entry as politically pointed and centered on showing how much she feels is at stake in this election.
Mikell described Davis’s video as a mashup of still and action shots of the confederate flag, protestors being assaulted, post-George Floyd protests and clips of past civil rights marches.
“Both videos were powerful in different ways. In the end, however, Pollock’s creativity, humor and snappy editing won us over, and she garnered the first prize,” he said.