Marietta College helps get out the vote

As Election Day draws to a close, the Marietta College community is invited to get together at 8 p.m. Tuesday at The Gathering Place to watch the election results unfold.

Campus efforts to increase student participation in the presidential election added an extra zing of excitement to Marietta College this fall.

“We’ve been involved in getting out the vote from the very beginning of the semester,” said Kasey Drennen, staff assistant in Student Life.

The Student Life program sponsored activities for voter registration and education, ranging from a “Rock the Vote” video to a session with Marietta’s mayor, Michael Mullen. Campus groups, including College Democrats and College Republicans, helped coordinate the registration effort.

As the campaigns progressed, students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to view the presidential debates together and discuss them with others at “Pizza and Politics” gatherings.

Although Courtney Robinson, a junior biochemistry major for Bel Air, Md., opted to watch the debates on her own, she was excited to vote for the first time. “It’s interesting to be able to vote,” Robinson said. “It’s an important right that we should exercise as much as we can.”

Robinson registered when she applied for a driver’s license after a move to Maryland two years ago. Her first voting experience was by absentee ballot. “It was easy to do — I downloaded the application for the absentee ballot from an Internet site, mailed it in, got the ballot, and then mailed it in too.”

Allison LaRocca, a freshman from Canton, also mailed in an absentee ballot in her first experience with voting. LaRocca said she registered during a big voter registration drive at her high school last year.

“My favorite history teacher at my high school really pushed for it, plus my parents have always voted,” LaRocca said. “Voting made me feel more grown up—it’s a privilege and a responsibility.