National Voter Registration Day supported by student volunteers on campus
October 02, 2023
October 02, 2023
Voter Engagement Committee volunteers manned voter registration tables outside the Carl Hansen Student Center on the Mount Carmel Campus and beside the cafeteria on the North Haven Campus.
“Student participation in the voting process in the United States is critically important to the democratic process as a citizen,” said Thomas Ellett, Quinnipiac’s chief experience officer. “Our students will be the future leaders of our society, and we are very excited so many of the leaders of our political clubs and organizations are engaged on our annual Voter Engagement Committee at Quinnipiac.”
National Voter Registration Day, established in 2012, is held each September as a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating the nation’s democracy. To date, over 5 million voters have registered as the result of volunteers and organizations working on a single day of coordinated field, technology, and media efforts. This year, National Voter Registration Day was held on September 19.
Kristen Bourgault, associate teaching professor of education, oversaw the North Haven Campus registration event. She said the day’s effort was also aimed at reminding students that every year is an election year, and elections at all levels are important – from town elections all the way to the presidency.
Nick Fizzano, ’26, president of Quinnipiac University Democrats, agreed. Fizzano is studying political science and history and volunteered to help register students on the Mount Carmel Campus.
“This year in Connecticut, there are municipal elections coming up. The best way to be heard is at the ballot box, and making sure folks who agree with your positions and priorities are the ones who are getting elected, and the only way you can actively do that is by actively getting involved in the process,” said Fizzano.
Fizzano has volunteered with congressional, gubernatorial, and mayoral campaigns. He said it’s important for every individual to recognize the power they have in their right to vote.
“I always do my best to get as many folks as I know personally to register. I just think it’s important, because any one person can make a difference, and the more individual people who are going out and making that difference, the bigger the impact,” said Fizzano.
Film major and journalism minor Alyssa Drumm, ’25, MS ’26, is Quinnipiac University Democrats vice president. Drumm also brought her political volunteer experience to the table outside of the Carl Hansen Student Center.
“The very first job I had was volunteering for a congressman, and I absolutely loved it. I love Democracy,” said Drumm. “It’s so important for students to get out and vote. [US Senator] Mitt Romney just announced he’s going to retire after this term, and like he said, it’s time for the old guard to step down and for younger people to step up and start running the government for the future that they want to see. That’s why I’m here, and that’s why I think it’s important that we all vote.”
Political science major Alyssa Carroll, ’24, also volunteered to help students register on the Mount Carmel Campus. Carroll is a member of Quinnipiac University Democrats and serves on the Executive Board of Quinnipiac’s Political Science Association. “I feel like a lot of people I know are registered to vote; so to me, it’s more a matter of whether they’ve actually voted. I feel that’s where the issue lies,” said Carroll. “I think this is a good way to remind them that elections are right around the corner.”
On the North Haven Campus, accelerated nursing program student Umani Davis, ABSN ’24, stopped by Bourgault’s table and learned that an address change was needed to update her voter registration.
A member of Quinnipiac’s Voter Engagement Committee since 2018, Bourgault said this year’s healthy number of Quinnipiac students reporting they are registered voters tracks with national student voter registration statistics followed by the committee.
“We’ve seen that there’s been increased engagement with registrations, and also showing up to vote, so I do think that more and more students are aware of voting,” said Bourgault. “Civic engagement should be a goal for all college graduates, so here at Quinnipiac we are making it as easy as possible for students to get registered to vote, ensure their registration is up to date, and then get out to vote on election day.”
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