September 20, 2004 :: Oklahoma College Students Ready to ‘Get Out the Vote’
Students on campuses all across the state will be hosting activities during the next six weeks aimed at encouraging more college students to get more involved in civic life and vote in the Nov. 2 national and state elections.
The campus activities are part of the statewide Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) campaign that is designed to register new student voters, educate students on candidate and ballot issues and mobilize students to vote. GOTV is sponsored by Oklahoma Campus Compact’s Vocal Oklahomans in Civic Engagement (VOICE) initiative, a part of the national Raise Your Voice campaign and funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Some of the activities planned throughout the next six weeks include block parties, phone-a-thons, debates, student dialogues and the VOICE GOTV Rally scheduled for Oct. 28. Students and student groups will also be participating in the VOICE Voter Registration Contest scheduled for Sept. 29-30.
Langston University won the first VOICE Voter Registration Contest in 2003 by registering 445 new student voters. In all, 21 campuses competed in the contest, registering more than 2,500 students.
“These civic activities that our students are carrying out across the state on both public and independent campuses are commendable. It is very important that students get involved in the democratic process in a meaningful way while in college because they are our future,” said Chancellor Paul G. Risser, who noted that a small percentage of Oklahoma’s 18-to 24-year-olds vote in local and state elections and only 41 percent voted in the 2000 presidential election.
Oklahoma Campus Compact was established in 2000 and provides leadership, networking and technical assistance to Oklahoma college campuses and communities in the areas of service learning, civic engagement and community service.