Diversity events on campus hope to empower students to get to the polls

By Kristi Luchetta, News Editor

To raise awareness and empowerment among EWU students on campus, The Department of Political Science and International Affairs Program will be providing diversity and in-/exclusion events the week of October 10-13.

These events will be centered around the issues regarding the american political system when it comes to specific groups of people being excluded from voting.

“The events are to point out how common it has been in american political history for specific groups to being prevented from voting,” said EWU History Department Advisor, Dr. Ann Le Bar. “The process is still going on today, actually pretty actively. People around the country are being prohibited from voting.”

Dr. Le Bar says women are still inadequately represented today with the high number of male representatives. She also brought up how released felons, who have been granted their right back to vote, are still being denied in certain states.

“There was history of discrimination that happened with blacks having to pass literacy tests and all kinds of extra things to get access to the ballot,” said Dr. Le Bar. “The same thing is happening today with people having to have extra identifications and producing birth certificates in order to vote.”

Throughout the week students from various EWU clubs and organizations will be conducting a Voter Registration Drive. They will be handing out voter registration forms to students and faculty around campus to create motivation to get to the polls.

These events will include a teach-in on October 10 and October 11, both from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Tawanka Hall 215 B-C.

A candidate forum will be held on October 12, where 10 candidates running for state and federal office will be touching on why it is important for college-aged students to vote and how to get more diverse people involved in the political process.

The week will conclude with a lecture by Dr. Eric Loomis October 13, from noon to 2 p.m. in Hargreaves 201.

“[These events] are primarily to give students on campus more information and awareness on how diverse groups are excluded in the electoral vote and why it is important for students to get involved,” Dr. Le Bar said.