ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union’s Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement, in collaboration with the Department of Political Science and International Studies and the Mount Union Library, has become the first university to install special kiosks that help students fulfill their civic duties.
Each Civic Corner station is equipped with an iPad allowing students to request an absentee ballot, complete voter registration and locate and send messages to their elected officials.
“The Regula Center found the Civic Corner initiative to be an opportunity for collaboration across campus that would create a space for students to learn, voice their opinions and make change,” said Abby Honaker Schroeder, director of the Regula Center. “Students need to know that their voices matter through voting, contacting their elected officials and being informed about political processes.”
Two Civic Corners have been installed on campus. One is located in the Hoover-Price Campus Center near the B&B Café, and the other is in the Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center near the KHIC Start Café.
“The Civic Corners enable students to be civically engaged year-round,” said Dr. Lori Kumler, assistant professor of political science and international studies. “Often, universities ‘get out the vote’ in presidential election years—with little happening in between—even though most states have at least two elections per year.”
In addition to voting information, the Civic Corners also provide users with postcards for contacting elected officials at all levels. The goal of the Civic Corners is to help college students and community members learn about the political process and then find ways to engage in it.
“I’m afraid Americans tend to take democracy for granted, often forgetting that being a member of a democratic society requires participation,” said Gina Maida, library circulation manager. “We’re hoping that the Civic Corners will remind the University community that their voices need to be heard. Speaking out can be as easy as picking up a pen.”
For more information, please contact Abby Honaker Schroeder at email@example.com.