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Civic engagement with Beyond the Ballot

Civic engagement with Beyond the Ballot

Julia Hall ’18 February 10, 2017

Post-election season, the student ambassadors of Vote Everywhere have initiated a new, three-part lecture series called Beyond the Ballot, running Feb. 15, March 8, and March 22. The series will feature speakers from the political science department as well as the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community.

Three political science majors function as the UD ambassadors for Vote Everywhere: Katherine Liming ’18, Margaret Schaller ’17, and Nick Hancart ’17. Vote Everywhere is a grassroots campaign initiated and run by the Andrew Goodman Foundation. With a bipartisan philosophy, the group organizes programming to encourage increased civic engagement among college students.

“We are a pretty disenfranchised population, regardless of our race or our gender. The government isn’t reaching out to us because [they think] we are young and naïve and stupid,” Liming said.

Despite the dilemma of being green, young adults have been exceptionally engaged in politics in the last year.

Liming believes the lecture series should be attended by all students majoring in government or interested in the subject since they are intended to provide students with an outline of how to be well informed, politically vocal and how to be heard.

Beyond the Ballot was primarily conceived by the desires of young adults wanting to be impactful in today’s political climate.

“How can you protest effectively? How can you contact your representatives effectively? It is really hard. I do not want people just shouting into an abyss,” Liming commented.

The first lecture, “Messaging in the Media,” will focus on differentiating between opinion and fact in the news. The event will be held from 7-8 p.m. in Marianist Hall 218.

Liming hopes the lecture series will provide students with concrete information that they can trust, as opposed to getting information from social media sites.

The two lectures scheduled to follow, “Outreach to Officials” and “People, Protest, and Petition,” will focus on vocalizing well-researched, well-informed opinions, effectively.