A local push to register voters and get out the vote is being spearheaded by a group at Western Carolina University, as part of the national ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.
WCU's Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning and Student Democracy Coalition have established a civic engagement action plan and an informational "one-stop shop" webpage, all with the full endorsement of Chancellor Kelli R. Brown.
Fall 2020 has a number of key elections on the ballot, with local, state and presidential races at stake. "Voting is the most powerful tool we have to shape our community," said Brown.
A nonpartisan effort, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge encourages the engagement of students at higher education institutions in public life and in government through voting, contacting elected officials, being active in political organizations, debating issues, supporting causes and participating in rallies.
"The upcoming 2020 election is coming at a pivotal time in our society and gives voting-age citizens the perfect opportunity to share and uplift their voices to shape the U.S. as they want to see it. As a group, our ultimate goal is to register students, inform them of the offices that they can vote on, and make it as easy as possible for them to use their vote as their voice and vision," said Kylie Cox, a sophomore and Student Democracy Coalition member.
"The conversations and subsequent actions we will have from now until Election Day will speak to our commitment, how the ability to bring about positive change is available through a ballot and that democracy values each and every voter," said Lane Perry, executive director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning. "We want to remove obstacles, provide nonpartisan information and assist students and others in establishing healthy, civically engaged habits through voting."
WCU joins more than 160 colleges and universities pledging to increase civic engagement. “Today, young people are truly seeing how the decisions their elected officials make impact their everyday lives, and in this critical time, ensuring that they are able to make their voices heard safely is critical,” said Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, executive director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.
For more information about WCU's involvement in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, contact the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning at 828-227-7184.