Voter Initiative Encourages Students to Know 'the Power of Their Vote'
Dr. Crystal Harris believes voter engagement starts in the classroom.
As an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Governors State University since 2008, she has seen the impact of student voting. Now, she sees a need to reinforce the importance of student voting amid a lower turnout.
“Students don’t realize that their vote matters,” she said. “If every college student and professor who cared about the community got involved in public and local state policy, imagine what difference that would make.”
With Constitution Day events unfolding, she’s launching the GSU Voter Education Initiative, to celebrate the freedom and choice ingrained in the act of casting a ballot.
The initiative will include various activities to help engage students and to educate them about voting. On Sept. 20 and 22, there will be voter registration drive at the university's main entrance from 2 to 5 p.m. There will also be an addition voter registration drive on Sept. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by a panel discussion. All the events will include music and snacks for those who come by to register.
To participate further, GSU students should seek out professors involved in the initiative or they can take on social media challenges related to voter registration. Students can also become certified voter registrars to help support their peers in becoming registered voters.
Harris said she hopes the campaign becomes a space for inspiring action and nonpartisan discussion.
“When it comes to thinking about the initiative, our goal is to see what it would look like if every college student knew the power of their vote, and what that would do for our community,” said Harris.
Important dates to note include Vote Early Day, October 28th, as well as National Voter Registration Week, which goes from September 19th through the 23rd. Events will also be promoted in #InsideGovst, the weekly GSU newsletter.