By Hannah Pollock
In just 52 days, Americans will elect a new president.
The Office of Student Development and SGA want Trevecca students to be prepared and involved.
Two events are planned this week to try to increase student participation in the election.
New voters can register to vote between Tuesday, Sept. 20 and Thursday, Sept 24 during lunch and dinner in the Jernigan lobby. Paperwork for both in and out of state registration will be available.
“Our campaign is called GoVoteTNU and it’s part of a larger campaign, GoVoteTN,” said Matt Spraker, associate dean of students for community life.“We will have resources for those who don’t live in Tennessee. We will also have instructions on how to register to vote out of state and request an absentee ballot.”
Student Development hopes to register, educate and mobilize students to vote. Last fall, they exceeded their goal of registering 100 students.
“The office of student development is all about the holistic development of students and encouraging them to be civically engaged. Being a good member of society and a leader and servant is important. This is one way to get involved,” said Spraker.
Then, the office will host a debate viewing party.
The first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will air on Monday, Sept. 26 and Trevecca will host a viewing party from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in TSAC.
Following the debate, there will be a brief discussion moderated by Lena Hegi Welch, communication professor and dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. The discussion will allow students will have the opportunity to talk about the major points brought up during the presidential debate.
Since last year, senior Allison Clark has been working with SGA and student development to plan the voter’s registration drive and debate event. As voter education and registration coordinator for the GoVoteTNU campaign, Clark is passionate about her fellow students registering to vote.
“I believe that one of our greatest responsibilities as American citizens is to exercise our right to vote. So many people have dedicated their lives to their country and this is just one small way that we can give back. Plus, it’s an opportunity for our voices to be heard,” said Clark.
As a part of the GoVoteTNU program, there will also be a Monday night chapel on October 31 entitled “Community Conversation: Body Politics” and a Vote at Home campaign from Oct. 3 to Oct. 5 encouraging individuals out of state to learn how to absentee vote.
If you are an out of state student and are unable to be present at the polls, you will have to complete an absentee ballot. Absentee voting is conducted by mail, and sometimes in person before Election Day. Absentee ballot requirements are different depending on the state, however, after registering, anyone can go to http://vote.org to request an absentee ballot. There you will sign up, download a form that will allow you to request your ballot.