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NMU being a Voter Friendly Campus good for community

Do college students think about things such as voting in local elections? Don’t they have better things to do? After all, they aren’t really part of the “real world” yet, are they?

Yes, they are, and apparently, many Northern Michigan University students feel the same way.

NMU recently was designed a “Voter Friendly Campus” through an initiative led by two national nonpartisan organizations: Fair Elections Center’s Campus Vote Project and NAPSA — Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

The groups held participating institutions accountable for planning and implementing practices that encouraged students to register and vote in 2020 elections and in the coming years.

NMU is among about 230 institutions in 37 states and the District of Columbia to earn this designation.

Campuses were evaluated based on plans to register, educate and turn out student voters in 2020, efforts to facilitate voter engagement on campus, and a final analysis of those efforts.

Keep in mind that all this was accomplished during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NMU received this honor through a variety of activities.

For instance, it hosted a campus-wide, civic engagement-themed scavenger hunt and had in-class presentations about the registration process. Its Voter Friendly Campus Committee hosted biweekly tables on campus and debate streaming parties.

Associated Students of NMU also partnered with the Marquette city clerk’s office to set up a satellite clerk’s office so students could register to vote, request and drop off a Marquette city absentee ballot, and return Michigan voting applications. This was especially crucial in the 2020 presidential election during a highly polarized atmosphere.

Emma Drever, student body president of the ASNMU and committee chair, called it “impactful” to empower students to become a part of society by voting. The students became “confident” in their voices, she said.

We agree. If students become confident in their voices now, chances are they will be confident when they become older adults and have jobs and families.

We also hope NMU continues this tradition of being a Voter Friendly Campus because the community as a whole will benefit.

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