VCU organization helping students create ‘voting plans’

Updated: Sep. 28, 2020 at 3:49 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As it gets closer to Election Day, a VCU organization wants to make sure students' votes are counted. The VCU Votes Council is helping students as they navigate through the pandemic, alerting them to important deadlines.

“Our job of making sure everyone is civically engaged is very important because the constant reminders walking around campus are not there,” explained student co-chair Matt Tessema. “Absentee, in-person early or in-person, we are trying to encourage our students to have a plan. Which one are you going to do?”

VCU Votes, a non-partisan organization, is relying heavily on social media to reach students.

“VCU Votes is a network of VCU students, faculty and staff members dedicated to promoting voter engagement on campus. VCU Votes coordinates campus-wide voter engagement events, provides voter education, and works to make VCU the most voter-friendly campus it can be.”

Tessema says the council is missing the energy that was felt on campus during the primaries, as students navigate spaces that are mainly virtual. The goal is to make sure the energy doesn’t fade. They’ve held several registration drives throughout the community and offered virtual absentee voter training.

“You have a chance to have a say in this election, and if you don’t take it, it might be even hypocritical to make complaints later on,” he explained. “Make sure all your friends and family are registered - and go [to the polls] together, and if you don’t go together, make sure your friends and family are going. Hold everyone accountable.”

Tuesday at 7 p.m., VCU Votes is holding a virtual Voting Story Circle. Students are invited to share personal voting experiences, engage in dialogue around voting, and develop personalized voting plans.

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