There are two seats up for election this fall in New Jersey: the governor's seat and a spot in the United States Senate. The Ramapo community is gearing up for election season with initiatives to increase voter awareness and turn out this upcoming October and November.
The Civic and Community Engagement Center (CCEC) assisted the initiative with TurboVote, a digital program that allows users to sign up to register to vote and receive reminders of upcoming elections via e-mail and/or text message. The CCEC launched the program Tuesday during the Constitution Day and Club Fair events.
"I am planning to vote this year. I always vote because it's my civic duty," says junior Heather Landfield. "I didn't use TurboVote to register, since I was already, but it's important to have on campus. Someone that wouldn't fill out the paperwork normally is more inclined and encouraged to do so."
Also in an effort to encourage Ramapo students to vote, the CCEC and the Law and Society Convening Group organized a three-part discussion series for this fall. The series includes an event based around same-sex marriage on Oct. 10, voting rights on Nov. 4 and affirmative action on Dec. 5. Each program will be held in Friend's Hall during common hour, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Freshmen attendance to these programs will also count towards points for the First Year Student Challenge, otherwise known as FYSC.
Sophomore Shazia K.C. comments, "I would be most interested in attending the discussion on same-sex marriage to see how the issue is tackled across the county. Being an international student, I come from a conservative, orthodox society where things are different, so it's nice to see that they are being talked about on campus."
Ramapo's political student organizations are also hopping on board the initiative. Congressmen Scott Garrett will be giving a speech in H-Wing Tuesday at 1 p.m., an event organized by the College Republicans. Representatives from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund will be presenting on behalf of their organization, an event called "Health and Politics" in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness month, organized by the College Democrats and co-sponsored by the Women's Center.