Bringing the Vote to Campus

by Cassidy Lawson
Happy March Everyone! I’m looking forward to the spring season and the Spring break that comes with it! I’m also happy to report that my Campus to Career Conference drew a small crowd on Saturday, but it went very well!

As you all know, this is an election year for our President and this year could very well be the most controversial election in years! Elections always bring out a lot of tension and differing opinions, but it seems like this year they are being broadcast 24/7. This can lead to a very discouraging and anxious environment for not just us, but for our students who are still trying to figure out what they should major in, much less who the leader of our country should be!

However, something my campus has done to make the process of voting a lot easier for our students is that JMU has established its very own voting precinct right here on campus, in our Convocation Center. This is the first year ever this has happened and it was approved that year at a local city council meeting that approved the proposal on a 3-2 vote. A lot of local constituents had a lot of doubts about the precinct, saying that it would be a waste of time and energy since young people don’t vote anyways and that the local elementary school was only 1 mile away from the campus so they could vote there. However, I think we can all agree that no matter what age we are, if it is more convenient to us, we are more likely to do it out of human nature. That being said, so far today the Convocation Center has seen a record-breaking number of students come out to vote (over 300) and it’s only halfway through the voting day. This just goes to show that if you make it accessible to students, they will show up! What does your campus do to make political engagement accessible to students?

I hope all of you are exercising your right as a citizen to vote if you’re one of the states who is apart of Super Tuesday this week!

Student Affairs - the First Years

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