Thousands of students register to vote

The results are in: more than 3,000 students have registered to vote.

Campus efforts led by students and staff members to educate and encourage students to become registered voters has earned the university recognition.

Grand Valley holds the record for the university with the highest number of voter registration applications submitted in one day to the Secretary of State's Mobile Unit. The unit was on campus on National Voter Registration Day September 27. The university was also recently designated as a Voter Friendly Campus by Campus Vote Project, a national initiative that helps universities empower students with information they need to vote.

Melissa Baker-Boosamra, associate director of Student Life, said students understand the importance of voting.

"The stakes are quite high this election and I think that's driving students to want their voices to be heard," said Baker-Boosamra. "Students see themselves in some of the country's issues, in ways they didn't see themselves before. It's an exciting and important time for them."

About 16 voter registration drives were hosted by various student organizations from August through October, and more than 500 absentee ballots have been requested by students.

Baker-Boosamra said that while the deadline to register to vote has passed, there are additional ways for students to engage in the democratic process.

Students can watch the third presidential debate October 19, from 9-11 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at the Mary Idema Pew Library. The Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies will host a panel discussion that will feature an expert in American politics on November 1, at 7 p.m. in Loosemore Auditorium at DeVos Center. Student Senate will arrange transportation to polls in Allendale on Election Day, November 8.

The university is also participating in the "ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge," another national initiative to engage students in the democratic process. Participation in the challenge supports the Campus Compact's President's Declaration on the Civic Responsibility of Higher Education, of which Grand Valley is a signatory.

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