Photo by Olivia Ross
By John Jason Francis, Staff Writer-
UTC’s Office of the Dean of Students and the Political Science Department have launched the ‘Mocs Go Vote’ initiative to help expand civic engagement on campus and increase student voter turnout for the 2020 election.
‘Mocs Go Vote’ began in 2018 when faculty members, student leaders and administrators came together to find ways to develop a stronger sense of civic duty among UTC students.
Their collaboration created the voting initiative, which helped UTC receive the designation of ‘Silver Campus’ by the All In Campus Democracy Challenge, meaning UTC had a student voter turnout between 30-39% in the 2018 midterms.
‘Mocs Go Vote’ has important information about the election posted on their website such as voter registration, early voting and absentee ballot deadlines.
Polling locations can be found on the website as well as an Election 2020 calendar that will be updated with campus-wide events and other organizational efforts leading up until Election Day.
The initiative’s website also provides insight into the importance of being civically engaged and participating in elections. Alexis Hurley, one of the organizers of ‘Mocs Go Vote,’ spoke about the goals the initiative is designed to achieve.
“Ultimately, we hope to increase student voter turnout in November 2020 elections,” Hurley said. “The right to vote is a bedrock principle in a democracy, and electoral participation is an essential civic duty.”
Additionally, she discussed why student voter turnout is important in an election. She said that while students may not feel their vote matters, recent electoral races were decided by “a handful of votes.” To Hurley, voting is a chance for students to have their voices heard.
“… college students have the potential to be a key constituency in every election.” She said. “With millions of college students eligible to vote, your collective voice can make a significant difference.”
UTC will continue to provide essential updates, voting resources and Q&A sessions with faculty members from the Political Science and Public Service Department to keep students informed about the upcoming election. For more information on how to stay civically engaged and support the greater Chattanooga community, follow “Mocs in the City” on Instagram.
The Echo will report on any further developments and/or campus events regarding the election in the lead up to Nov. 3. Visit UTC’s website linked here to see the ‘Mocs Go Vote’ initiative in its entirety.