This semester, the SLU campus is a hub of voting-centered activities. A group of students within the Center for Service and Community Engagement created a project called “Get Out the Vote,” in hopes of promoting voter education and registration. They have created an Instagram account to encourage other SLU students to vote, with the handle @SLU.Vote, and they post frequently about how and where to vote on campus.
On Sept. 22, the group hosted four voter registration tables all across North and South Campus to mark National Voter Registration Day, encouraging people to sign up to vote. There was a table by the Busch Student Center, the Center for Global Citizenship, the Education Union and the shuttle stop near Crave Coffeehouse. They primarily provided resources for voting in Missouri and Illinois, but also offered guides for different states as well. One of the group organizers, Erinn Miller, helped register people at the table by the BSC. When asked if she felt that a lot of people came to her table, she said, “I would say no, but we did talk to people a lot about checking their registration, like who were already registered but they wanted to make sure.” She also mentioned that a lot of students were quite curious about what exactly SLU was doing to help with voting and voter registration in general.
From that day forward, the group started posting flyers around campus as well as sending them through different organizations’ group chats, to help people get voting information. The organizers feel that this outreach has gotten the conversation started for many people who weren’t planning to vote, or were unsure sure how to go about doing so.
As election day approaches, they are planning to spread the word even more and create more opportunities for people to register. To facilitate that, the Simon Recreation Center will be used as a polling place on election day. This gives several students and staff members an opportunity to vote without having to leave campus. This is only eligible for people registered in the state of Missouri, but the group organizers have helped plenty of students change their registration to their SLU address, to enable them to vote here. Miller stressed how important it is for students to know that this is available.
“I think that more people need to know that voting on campus is a valid option, how easy it is for students to vote,” she said.
With resources available through the “Get Out the Vote” project, the organization hopes to see a rise in voters within the SLU community on Nov. 3.