Are politics getting worse? Patriocracy is a non-partisan examination of Washington DC dysfunction. PATRIOCRACY is a timely film that seeks to answer the questions: How bad is it in Washington? Has the political environment always been this angry, this gridlocked, this broken? And what can we do about it?
In Plattsburgh, New York, up near the Canadian border, Student Affairs Vice President of SUNY Plattsburgh’s Student Association, Noemy Brito, has been leading campus initiatives to get her student peers registered and voting. Noemy says that especially as a woman and a minority, civic engagement is important to her. She explained, “If we don’t talk, who will?” Working with the Student Association’s Political Advocacy and Awareness Committee, Noemy helps involve other student organizations who want to help get out the student vote.
According to Noemy, an obstacle that deters students from voting is that they feel uneducated about political topics. To combat this, SUNY Plattsburgh is hosting events that present both Republican and Democrat points of view. A “Meet the Candidates” event will invite students to learn about the political stances of the individuals running for office. Noemy says the topic of Voter ID laws is a popular issue for discussion and has sparked interest among students.
With help from supporting faculty and staff, Plattsburgh students have opportunities to receive Rock the Vote t-shirts on campus, and some faculty members are making registration forms available in their classes. The Student Association and the Center for Teaching Excellence are collaborating to provide rides to the polls for student voters.
...but at Kirtland Community College in Roscommon, Michigan, students had already had several chances to see both Pres. Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney in the same room. KCC used life-sized cardboard cutouts of both men - holding enlarged voter registration forms - to draw attention to several voter registration events held at the school.
Kirtland also will be selling cupcakes on election day with either a "R" or an "O" written in frosting. People can "vote" by buying a cupcake with their candidate's initial on it. At the end of the event, they will see who has won by the money raised. All proceeds will go to their student food pantry/student leader scholarship. Sweet!
Monday evening is the third and last of the presidential debates between Pres. Barack Obama and former governor Mitt Romney. In Romney's home state of Massachusetts, Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable created this scorecard for scoring the debates. There's still time to use this or a similar card for Monday evening's foreign policy debate. Or - a variation - how 'bout Presidential Bingo Cards? Squares that can be checked off every time a candidate says "the deficit," "our brave men and women," "sanctions," "the terrorists," and so on. (We'd suggest a drinking game, but that would be irresponsible...)
Some 237 years ago, Bunker Hill was the site of one of America's earliest steps toward creating the world's first democracy. Today, Bunker Hill Community College, in Charlestown, Massachusetts, has a strong commitment to helping students become civically responsible. Every fall semester, Student Activities sponsors a voter registration drive and the History department facilities an event concentrated around Constitution Day.
This current semester, Student Activities has already registered 400 students and on Constitution Day the performing arts student group, Take a Bow, held a series of flash mobs around campus celebrating the achievements of the Constitution. The Offices of Community Engagement and Learning Communities are also co-sponsoring a student discussion at the end of October, focused on election preparedness.
Bunker Hill's Office of Community Engagement, with support from CEEP and the Massachusetts Campus Compact, is collaborating with Visual Media Art students in creating a Get Out of the Vote poster campaign. Posters are being displayed around campus, in a variety of formats, sizes, colors, and messages. Additionally, for these last two weeks of October the Office of Community Engagement is tabling in the main lobby, distributing stickers, informational pamphlets on ballot initiatives and candidates, and polling location information. As BHCC knows, democracy isn't just something you win - it's an ongoing process!
Join CEEP staff from New York Campus Compact a 1 PM ET, 10 AM PT today to discuss ideas and resources for the next three weeks to engage students in issues around the 2012 presidential campaign, and then turn them out to vote. To participate in this free webinar, go here, and call 1-605-475-5900 and use the access code 990078#.
Check out our nonpartisan 2012 Presidential Election Voter Guide, which concisely summarizes the candidates' positions on major issues, drawing on the work our friends at Project Vote Smart have done on their candidate guides and rounded out with our own research. A lot of people, students especially, feel like they don't have enough time to learn all the nuances and details of the positions President Obama and Governor Romney have taken, so this guide will be a huge help in figuring out which candidate best represents their values. Take a look and send it out to all your friends and college staff and faculty contacts. We've also got a listserv-friendly text-only edition!
North Carolina Center for Voter Education and North Carolina Campus Compact's Voice Your Choice Video Contest!
The North Carolina Center for Voter Education is partnering with North Carolina Campus Compact to promote a video contest among college students. They will acknowledge the winners in the college division during the annual CSNAP student conference on November 3rd, 2012.
To read more about the 2012 contest click here and to see the 2010 winner view the video below!
Mason Cable Networks’ Man on the Plaza, Riggs Ordonez, turned out for the first Presidential Debate Watch Party held at George Mason University in the Johnson Center Atrium, Wednesday, October 3, 2012 to get student reactions to the candidates debate performance.
Don't forget that the second presidential debate is tonight - 9 PM ET in Hempstead, New York. Information on the remaining debates is here.
The George Mason event for the first debate was sponsored by Mason Votes. Here are student reactions to the first debate interviewed by Riggs Ordonez.