Stetson initiative helps prepare students for election

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DAYTONA TIMES

DeLand – This election year, the stakes are high and many Stetson students will be able to vote for the first time. To help inform Stetson students about the issues in this election, Stetson University’s Center for Community Engagement will be hosting debate-watching parties, a straw poll and several forums during October as part of the university’s “Stetson Votes!” initiative.

“Since August, our focus has been on voter registration using our TurboVote program,” said Kevin Winchell, assistant director for Community Engagement. “Now that voter registration is finishing, the focus is shifting to ensuring that students convert from registrants to voters. Our ‘Stetson Votes!’ initiative is a major step to increase that conversion rate.”

At the upcoming national presidential and vice presidential debates, students and community members will be able to watch the candidates discuss matters of foreign and domestic policy.

Following each debate, Stetson faculty and staff will lead open, non-partisan discussions about the issues and candidates’ positions.

Viewing of debates open to public
The debate schedule at Stetson, which is open to the public, is as follows:

• Thursday Oct. 11, 9-10:30 p.m.: Vice Presidential Debate #1 (Stetson Green)

• Tuesday Oct. 16, 9-10:30 p.m.: Presidential Debate #2 (Stetson Green)

• Monday Oct. 22, 9-10:30 p.m.: Presidential Debate #3 (Elizabeth Hall room 315)

On Wednesday, Oct. 24, Stetson will be holding its first Straw Poll in 32 years. Students will be able to “vote” for their preferred candidate for President of the United States and other offices, in front of the CUB between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. While the results of Straw Polls aren’t official, they will show which candidates may have the most support from Stetson students while providing a fun and easy way for students to get engaged in the election process.

On Monday, Oct. 29, students will gather in an open mic “Your Vote, Your Voice” forum from 7-9 p.m. in the Stetson Room. At the forum, students will give brief remarks about the issues and candidates they care most about in the election.

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