This year there is a groundbreaking election between two very different political figures: current President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. A primary factor in this 2020 election will be the turnout of young voters in the college-age demographic. To highlight the impact students have as voters and get them engaged with the election, Grand Valley State University’s Community Service Learning Center is hosting an outside Election Day Celebration on the big day of Tuesday, Nov. 3.
“We are really trying to create a day of excitement and celebration,” Melissa Baker-Boosamra, Student Life Associate Director said. “We are encouraging students to get out there and exercise their right to vote.”
The celebration will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cook Carillon Tower on the Allendale campus. Kicking off the festivities from 10 a.m. until noon will be giveaways, a photo booth and plenty of music.
“This is the big day,” Baker-Boosamra said. “We are already seeing nationally, as well as in the state of Michigan and locally, numbers that indicate voters have already voted through early voting and absentee voting.”
From noon until 1 p.m., GVSU President Philomena Mantella will join in on the celebration with a talk about voting. Joining her in speaking about the election will be Ottawa County Clerk Justin Roebuck and Student Senate Vice President for External Relations Joel Pagel.
“Our (GVSU) President has great commitment towards encouraging full student voter participation,” Baker-Boosamra said. “She has also signed the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.”
After the remarks made by Mantella, Roebuck and Pagel, GVSU’s marching band will perform with some special surprises. Students, Faculty, staff and others are welcomed to join the celebration by following the marching band for a walk from the clock tower to the Kirkhof Center Satellite Clerk’s Office.
“Students who are residents of Michigan and live in Allendale can use that service at that time to register, request an absentee ballot and vote,” said Baker-Boosamra.
GVSU’s Dance Team will be shimmying the day away to live music and bringing the excitement in for Lakers. To keep the day lively, refreshments and yard games will be taking place. Students are welcomed to participate in whatever they please. Louie the Laker will make a visit to hang out with all the students and celebrate this one-of-a-kind election.
“This is Election Day,” Baker-Boosamra said. “This is a really important and exciting time for us to both celebrate the fact that this is the most fundamental right we have in our democracy; and to celebrate the work that student leaders have done to really elevate student voices.”
On Election Day, the Satellite Office will be open until 5 p.m. To find more information on voting, students can go to www.mi.gov/vote. Here, students can find answers if they don’t know if they’re registered, don’t know where their polling location is or if they aren’t sure where their absentee ballot is in the process.