Marywood encourages students to vote


Photo credit/ Autumn Bohner

Marywood’s efforts to encouraged students to vote included social media posts, emails and events.

Nick Ferraro, Contributor

Today people from across the United States will make their voices heard at the polls. Over the past two years Marywood hosted multiple events to encourage students to vote.

Director of Student Engagement Michael Kalage led most of these attempts to get students excited about voting.

“We want to make students excited about their civic duty [by] making events more of a social event that you could do with your friends. [Students can] talk to your friends about it, and make it more of a social norm,” said Kalage.

Marywood’s ‘Pacers to the Polls’ movement and the ‘All In’ challenge are two prominent features of Marywood’s desire to see their students vote.

“The ‘All In’ challenge is a nationwide, nonpartisan effort to play into [the school’s] competitive side,” described Kalage. “[It] lets us know how we’re doing in voting registration and voter turnout compared to other schools in the country.”

To help promote voting among college students the Office of Student Engagement hosted events, sent email and made social media posts to ensure that students were given enough information about voting. Kirsten Gillern, a junior music therapy major, said she looks at the university’s efforts favorably.

“Marywood has done a great job of [getting students to vote],” said Gillern. “They are definitely reaching out to each student, faculty and staff member.”

The University also reached out to multiple departments on campus to help spread the word about voting.

“Even my music department was sending us the resources to vote and made sure we were registered,” explained Gillern.

The University’s art department also joined in on the chance for students’ voices to be heard about their own opinions of the election by opening an election themed art exhibit. Halle Brownwell, a sophomore graphic design major, is one artist featured in the exhibit.

“The exhibition was opened for all art majors,” said Brownell. “They got a chance to create whatever they thought was important about this election, with the only thing that they had to do was put ‘Vote 2020’.”

Through artwork, events and media, Marywood worked to get students excited about voting and asked students to encourage their friends to vote.

“We are the future generation so we need to make sure our voices are heard. We have a privilege to vote and we want to make sure we are voting for our world view,” explained Gillern. “Meditate on the reasons why you’re not voting and realize that there are so many more people that we are voting for than just the President.”

Kalage acknowledged that it’s important for students to understand that more than just the presidency is on the ballots.

“There is so much more on your ballot than President.” argued Kalage. “We are electing senators, we are electing representatives, we are electing attorney generals. Everyone at the local and state levels that really make a difference in our communities.”

Polls close tonight at 8:00 p.m. in Pennsylvania.

Contact the writer: [email protected]