Dozens of Grand Valley students waited in line on Election Day to cast their ballot at the satellite Allendale Township Clerk’s Office on campus. They joined more than 400 students who already voted in the weeks leading up to the day.
Members of the GVSU community gathered at the Cook Carillon Tower on November 3 to acknowledge the significance of the day. In her remarks, President Philomena V. Mantella said a fundamental way to serve the common good and be an active citizen is to vote.
“The right to vote has been hard fought,” Mantella said. “Voting, like education, is a self-responsibility. It’s acting on your sense of purpose acting with your passion and your commitment not only to yourselves, but to each other.”
She reminded the audience to stand up for what they believe in, but do so with dignity and respect. Mantella also denounced the recent desecration of headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Grand Rapids.
“We must all stand together to say we will not tolerate acts of hate disguised as politics,” Mantella said.
Melissa Baker-Boosamra, associate director for Student Life - Civic Engagement & Assessment, said while the world is facing multiple challenges, now is when students are needed the most.
“Our students are ready and capable of making our communities more welcoming and just,” Baker-Boosamra said. “They are ready to use their voices to do so.”
Joel Pagel, Student Senate vice president of external relations, said the Laker community is engaged and energized. On this Election Day and beyond, he encouraged compassion.
“We may not know the election results, but when we do, it is helpful to remind ourselves that despite the outcome, be respectful, open-minded and kind,” Pagel said.