CCEL hosts Get Out the Vote and Community Service Fair

Suneil Kamath, Civic Engagement Reporter

Many different CWRU community service and outside organizations will be in attendance at the Service Fair to be held on Sept. 18.

Case Western Reserve University’s Center for Civic Engagement and Learning (CCEL) is hosting two events in the near future, Get Out the Vote and CCEL Community Service Fair, to help increase students’ civic engagement on and off campus.

In communities and on college campuses all across the country, a number of organizations are trying to increase student engagement and activism in the American political system. Most importantly, though, they are helping students to register to vote before the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.

According to the Campus Vote Project, “over a quarter of college students said they did not register to vote because they did not know where or how to register.”

One such student is CWRU freshman Tesia Thomas, who said, “I am not exactly sure how to register to vote. It seems like a confusing process, but I definitely would register if someone would help me.”

CCEL wants to decrease this voter registration mystery at CWRU by hosting Get Out the Vote.

Get Out the Vote will be held Tuesday, Sept. 18, in the Thwing Atrium. During the non-partisan event, CCEL will give students voter registration information, as well as other helpful voting tips, such as the different ways one can choose to vote for the general election. Even out-of-state students can register to vote in Ohio if they wish.

According to state law, students are eligible to vote if they have lived in their current residences for 30 days before the election takes place.

Also, in alliance with Lambda Eta Mu and the Thwing Tuesday Committee, there will be free food and activities at the event, as well as various political trivia games.

“We will have lots of fun things for everyone to do. We have foam fingers for homecoming week and a photo booth. We will also have a button-making station and Pizza Bogo,” said sophomore Thwing Tuesday director and Mimi Moeller.

Three days later, on Sept. 21, CCEL is hosting a Community Service Fair from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Thwing Ballroom.

“There are a lot of resources at the Service Fair that a lot of people might not be aware of. By attending, it is a great way for students to really see what CWRU and Cleveland offer,” said sophomore Stephanie Chen.

The Community Service Fair will host over 40 organizations, including the Intergenerational School, the Peace Corps, and the Ensemble Theatre of Cleveland.

“I have volunteered with the Ensemble Theatre of Cleveland before, and I really enjoyed it,” said CWRU freshman Anna Dixon.

“It feels great to help out the community, and you learn a lot while volunteering, too,” she continued.

The service fair will be a great way for CWRU students to network and find interesting service opportunities to break out of the campus bubble and connect with Cleveland.

The Community Service Fair will also feature an election area. The area will have representatives from CWRU Democrats, Republicans, and Young Americans for Liberty, as well as a representative from the Cleveland Board of Elections.

Visiting the area will be an opportunity for students who miss Get Out the Vote or would like additional information about the upcoming general election or party positions.

In addition, free pizza will be provided to attendees.

Students who would like more information about Get Out the Vote or the CCEL Community Service Fair can visit CCEL’s website.