NU stresses voting and civic engagement ahead of November election


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

An NU Votes staffer asks a student to fill out a form at the voter van table. According to the group’s website, the Center for Civic Engagement and Office of the Registrar both provide ballot notarizations.

Emily Sakai, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern staff encouraged students to engage with their community through voting, activism and education in a Thursday email, stressing the importance of civic participation prior to the Nov. 3 election.

The email, a collaboration between multiple administrative departments, was jointly signed by Rob Donahue, interim director of the Center for Civic Engagement, Interim Dean of Students Mona Dugo, and Brent Turner, executive director of Campus Life.

“With so much happening in the world, responsible civic participation is important as ever — and something we value and encourage as a Northwestern community,” the email said.

The email lists a number of resources offered by NU Votes to help eligible students register to vote, request mail-in ballots, and get access to in-person and virtual support to answer questions. NU has been ranked among the top universities for voter turnout, the email said, and because of the pandemic it is “even more important” that students know what they need to do to vote. 

The email comes after Tuesday’s presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the first of the election season. The debate, which was marked by chaos and interruptions, included Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacists and his questioning the integrity of the election.

NU staff also encouraged students to continue to engage with activism efforts and “advocate for causes you believe in” while following COVID-19 guidelines. They stressed the importance of taking advantage of opportunities for education and community service.

Being part of a community is challenging and important, the email said, and it takes the collaboration of everyone involved to keep a society healthy and functioning.

“That makes earnest participation and engagement in government, our institutions and within our communities increasingly vital,” the email said. “Together we will make the world better for all.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter:  @em_sakai 

Related stories:

Voter outreach and registration efforts will look different this election, NU Votes says

President Trump questions election’s integrity in chaotic first presidential debate