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FORUM Vol. 41, No. 5; September 26, 2016

 
 
 

Grand Valley prepares students to 'rock the vote'

As voters are getting ready for the presidential election, Grand Valley is providing students with opportunities to participate.

The university is hosting more than 16 voter registration drives, a student civic week, presidential debate watch parties and a concert to encourage students to vote.

GVSU students register to vote

Photo by Valerie Wojciechowski 

Students visit a Kirkhof Center table containing information about voter registration. This week is Student Civic Assembly Week, multiple activities are planned to encourage voter participation.

As voters are getting ready for the presidential election, Grand Valley is providing students with opportunities to participate.

The university is hosting more than 16 voter registration drives, a student civic week, presidential debate watch parties and a concert to encourage students to vote.

Melissa Baker-Boosamra, associate director of Civic Engagement and Assessment for Student Life, said she wants students to deepen their understanding of their role in the community.

“Making sure that students know how to register and understand the nuances of Michigan election law is only one piece of the process,” Baker-Boosamra said. “The other is a much broader area dealing with the actual political content.”

Grand Valley is working to combat the sentiment that a vote from an average college student will not make a difference. Nikhil Watsa, vice president of external relations for Student Senate, said increased awareness will help students understand the importance of voting. 

“Students have been telling us that the biggest reason why they are not politically engaged is a lack of knowledge: a lack of knowledge of how to get registered to vote, and a lack of knowledge of what is going in politics," said Watsa. 

Grand Valley is hosting its first Student Civic Assembly Week September 26-30. This week-long series of events is meant to encourage and empower students to participate in their democracy. Visit www.gvsu.edu/service/vote for details.

Baker-Boosamra said Student Civic Assembly Week is meant to provide students with the opportunity to connect with others who are interested in engaging public issues and to learn how to do so with civility. 

“It’s not just about students understanding that voting is important and makes a difference,” Baker-Boosamra said. “Students need to think about the power of their voice, and the amount of change their voices can bring to the community.”