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viewpoint

Engage in political life

| Monday, September 21, 2015

“In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue and participation in political life is a moral obligation.”

This call to political responsibility by the U.S. Catholic Bishops is the foundation for the NDVotes ‘16 movement. NDVotes ‘16 is a student-led nonpartisan campaign sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns and the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy to promote voter education, registration and mobilization. NDVotes ‘16 fosters conscientious engagement in political and civic life among students. The NDVotes task force was designed by students, of students and for students because, whether we like it or not, politics affect each and every one of our lives in more profound ways than we even imagine. Thus, we owe it to our country, our respective faiths and ultimately ourselves to participate in the political process. At NDVotes, our goal is to make political participation both exciting and accessible to all students — regardless of their religious affiliation, academic interests or personal background.

Beginning this fall, the NDVotes ‘16 movement will take shape through a series of campus-wide events open to all Notre Dame students. The events will focus on voter registration among students, promoting virtuous discourse on our campus, and creating discussion around critical election-year issues. Some topics that we will explore include civic participation, voter disenfranchisement and political speech. 

Today, on National Voter Registration Day, NDVotes ‘16 will join other voter registration movements across the country by registering students at a table in LaFortune Student Center throughout the day. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg will help us launch the NDVotes ‘16 campaign at Geddes Hall at 5:30 p.m. We invite you to join us from 4-7 p.m. to register, request your absentee ballot and start the civic engagement dialogue. 

With NDVotes, it doesn’t matter if you have registered to vote, have been following politics or have ever had any previous interest in the political process. We invite everyone, from the political science senior who is writing his or her thesis on campaign strategy and has voted in every local, state and national election since 2012 to the first year engineer who doesn’t know too much about politics (yet) but wants his or her voice to be heard in the political process.

NDVotes is led by representatives of BridgeND, College Democrats, College Republicans, Graduate Student Union, GreeND, Hall Presidents Council, Right to Life, The Roosevelt Institute, Student Bar Association, Student Coalition for Immigration Advocacy, Student Government, Young Americans for Freedom and Women in Politics.

 

Sarah Tomas Morgan
co-chair, NDVotes ‘16

Roge Karma
co-chair, NDVotes ‘16

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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