This election season, Mason is voting Gangnam Style.
Twenty people gathered by the George statue on Saturday, Oct. 27, to film a video of Mason students rocking out to the internet hit Gangnam Style, but with a twist–the song’s lyrics were changed to let young people know that voting is something that’s cool to do.
The video is part of an effort by the Mason Vote Mob, as well as All Hands on Deck, a self-identified non-partisan group whose goal is to get young people to the polls.
The filmmaker, Colin Christopher, is a member of All Hands on Deck.
As he filmed the video, Christopher organized and led the group of volunteer dancers in the various signature Gangnam Style dance moves.
“This election, there’s a degree of apathy that was not around in 2008,” Christopher said. “It’s important for the politicians and the nation to know that young folks like us are interested, we are engaged, and our voices need to be heard.”
Another organizer of the video, junior Janelle Germanos, thought a video based off of Gangnam Style would catch the attention of young people.
“We’re hoping to encourage students to vote in a funny way that they can recognize. Obviously Gangnam Style is ridiculous, so sometimes it takes ridiculous ways to get people’s attention and to get them to vote,” Germanos said. “And we’re hoping when people see this, they’ll be like, ‘Why are they dancing to Gangnam Style?’ And then they’ll see the Vote Mob logo on the hoodies and they’ll realize that they need to get out and vote.”
The video’s lead dancer and PSY impersonator, Senior Edgar Tran, practiced dancing for hours in preparation for the video.
“It started out with Colin just asking around for dancers, and I dance myself, so I was like, okay, I can dance,” Tran said. “Then he said he needed a lead, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to volunteer.”
MasonVotes copy editor, junior Jasmine Young, decided to help out with the video in solidarity with Vote Mob’s goals.
“I’m coming out to show support for different voting organizations, because I am a part of an organization that emphasizes voting and the elections,” Young said. “I think it’s important to have other organizations join together and really show that Mason is ready to vote.”
The goal of the video is essentially to get voters to the polls, and to make young people realize that voting is something they should do.
“Vote Mob is trying to get people to think that voting is cool. It’s part of something you do. It’s not something that you might do—it’s something that you have to do,” Christopher said. “We need to make it more a part of our young culture. And that’s what we’re doing.”
On Nov. 6, election day, Vote Mob will be running various activities around campus and helping people make it to the polls.
On Oct. 31, the organization will host ‘Trick or Vote’, an event in which students will dress up in costume and knock on Mason students’ dorm room doors, encouraging them to vote.
The group welcomes any volunteers and will meet on the third floor of Liberty Square at 6 p.m.
“We want people to get excited about voting. We want people to think that, ‘If I’m not voting, I am not in the in crowd, I’m in the outside.’ We want to make voting the norm. There’s been a sort of disturbing amount of apathy among our generation, but I think that with some organization and some creative energy, we can turn apathy into activism.”