Engaging NextGen in Civic Democracy

Laurie Van Egeren, Interim Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement

Dear Engaged Spartans,

The events and rhetoric surrounding the upcoming election have embroiled us in one of the most critical and contentious times in U.S history. Democracy lies at the heart of a country that values freedom and the wellbeing of all its citizens, and central to that democracy is the right to vote. Now, more than ever, it is critical for every American voice to be heard.

At its core, MSU prepares students "to contribute fully to society as globally engaged citizen leaders" (MSU Mission Statement). Every year, the Center for Community Engaged Learning guides thousands of MSU students in making meaningful contributions as engaged citizens by providing opportunities for community-engaged work both as part of courses and through co-curricular civic activities.

However, election years afford singular opportunities for students to develop their understanding of the meaning of democracy and action. UOE is pleased to fully support MSUvote, a non-partisan campus coalition working to increase the number of registered student voters, inform and educate students on candidates and issues, and bolster student participation before and on Election Day. Co-chairs Renee Brown, Director of the Center for Community Engaged Learning, and Suchitra Webster, MSU Community Liaison, Student Affairs and Services, and student leaders work in partnership with a host of state and national campus voting initiatives, including Vote Early Day 2020, Students Learn Students Vote, Campus Election Engagement Project, The Campus Vote Project, and The League of Women Voters.

Please direct students to www.msuvote.msu.edu for voting information from every state and a live chat feature where students may ask other students about voting and civic engagement.

Voting is a fundamental civic duty, and MSUvote works to ensure that Spartans understand the meaning and impact of their vote, participate in the election process, and make their voices heard. As we head into the last weeks of this election, please do your part to encourage the next generation to do its part—go out and vote!

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