University Helps to Get Out the VoteContact: Bob Howe
Fordham University launched a two-week voter registration drive on Sept. 17, enabling students and members of the community to register easily and conveniently at the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses.
Kickoff events took place on Sept. 17 at the Lincoln Center campus and on Sept. 24 at the Rose Hill campus. Student volunteers waited at tables in the student centers, providing registration forms and guidance for filling them out. Students from outside New York received help with registering in their home states, and registration forms were available at various sites around campus.
“The University holds voter registration drives as part of its mission to educate the whole person,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “Voting is the most powerful way in which most Americans exercise their voices in national affairs, and this year we are happy to expand our registration efforts to include our neighbors in the Lincoln Center and Rose Hill communities.”
This year Fordham opened its registration drive to the general public for the first time. People from outside the Fordham community were able to register at the Rose Hill campus. University officials also set up voter registration at the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center, located at the Amsterdam Houses apartment complex near the Fordham Lincoln Center campus.
Fordham conducts voter registration drives every four years, coinciding with presidential elections. This year’s drive was a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Office of the Dean at Fordham College at Lincoln Center, Student Affairs, the Community Service Program, United Student Government and the Office of Government Relations.
“I think a voter registration drive sets the stage,” said Lesley A. Massiah, assistant vice president for government relations and state affairs. “A registration drive, if done in cooperation with other University departments—including other staff and faculty—actually provides a wonderful environment for students to begin to think about the political world in which they live. Hopefully, voter registration translates into active participation in the political process. Once engaged, it’s hard for [students] not to stay engaged.”
University officials also recruited students to work at the polls on Election Day, Nov. 4, when the University is closed.
Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to approximately 14,700 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in Westchester, and the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y.