In an important election year, faculty and staff from the Stevens Service Learning Center are helping students navigate the upcoming 2020 election. The Center’s team, in partnership with political science faculty and McQuade Library staff, has created a series of election programming that includes a voter registration drive, presidential debate watches and panel discussions.
Mary McHugh, executive director of civic and community engagement, is helping lead these efforts by emphasizing the importance of the electoral process and teaching students about it.
“Many of Merrimack’s students will be voting in their first election,” McHugh said. “It’s crucial that they are prepared to cast their vote.”
McHugh says civic engagement looks for citizens to take on more active, participatory roles in identifying and solving problems in the communities where they live. She says that civic skills take practice and college is a place to build the foundations for these life-long skills.
“I want students to realize that they have the ability to help shape the future,” McHugh said. “I want them to do their own research, attend campus events, learn about candidates’ plans, register and vote.”
Students, faculty and staff will also have the opportunity to take part in the “Why I Vote” social media campaign. The campaign is represented by the hashtag #MerrimackVotes and helps bring awareness to the importance of voting. More information about voting in Massachusetts is also available on the McQuade Library’s LibGuides website.