Geneseo’s Weeks of Welcome events try to build a welcoming environment for freshmen as they adjust to the college experience. WOW activities usually connect students with faculty, clubs and each other, helping freshmen get involved and excited about the upcoming school year.
Biochemistry major senior Patrick Buckley and English literature major junior Leah Christman of the Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development program ran a Donuts for Democracy event to encourage students to register to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.
The GOLD mentors handed out donuts and other freebies—including gift cards—while answering questions about voting at Geneseo. The event provided an easy way for students to learn about voting and to get forms to register.
In a response to low voter turnout in 2010 and 2012, the Geneseo Center for Community created the Task Force on Voter Engagement. The results have been remarkable; the on-campus voting rate rose from 43 percent in 2012 to more than 80 percent in 2016, according to The Lamron. Geneseo was also designated one of 83 “voter-friendly” campuses” nationwide.
Geneseo’s Voter Registration and Engagement Task Force hopes for even higher rates of registration and turnout in this year’s Nov. 6th midterm elections. Registered voters can cast their ballot in the Kuhl Gymnasium, a convenient site for on-campus residents.
Donuts for Democracy is one of many events that GOLD mentors have prepared to encourage student voter participation. They will also hold registration parties on the College Green on Constitution Day on Sept.17 and National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 25. There will also be voter registration tables in the MacVittie College Union leading up to the midterm elections, according to Buckley.
Through these events, the GOLD mentors hope to ensure that all students can register to vote. With more students registered, they believe there will be high turnout rates on Nov. 6th.