This week, our class project officially began "UIndy Votes!" voting registration drive. All week in Schwitzer Student Center, the students helped reach out to their peers and register to vote, check registration, and find their polling place.
On Monday, some of my students were interviewed by CBS4's Matt Smith for a story on how millennials view the election. The story ran during the 6 o'clock news slot and will run again this Sunday (October 2nd) as a segment on INFocus with Dan Spheler. The students were engaged, articulate, and passionate about politics--could not have made me more proud.
Then Monday evening, we watched the presidential debate in the presidential house (the UIndy president's house, that is). The president and his office graciously let us host the first of our regular "debate watching parties" in his home and the students had a blast. We had nearly 50 students turn out and we enjoyed watching Clinton and Trump discuss their policy details as we sat on the couch and in our chairs around the TV. I left early so I could be in studio to do a segment on the outcome and expectations of the debate, but I could not have been more thrilled with the turnout and look forward to another fun debate watching party this upcoming Tuesday with the vice presidential debate!
Tuesday, September 27th was a very fun and very busy day! I was lucky enough to be asked by the Indiana Debate Commission to moderate the first gubernatorial debate which we held at Lawrence North High School to reach out to new 18-year-old-voters participating in the elections for the first time. I had a wonderful time moderating and meeting all the candidates and the production crew and the commissioners who put so much time and effort into the event to make it run seamlessly. I love getting to see the "behind-the-scenes" because it includes so much more than you see when you are simply an audience member and it makes it that much special that I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity. It was truly a great experience and I hope I get to do it again.
Tuesday was also National Voting Registration Day AND the League of Women Voters' south side candidate forum, hosted at the University of Indianapolis and moderated by yours truly (told you it was a busy day!). My students registered folks to vote all day to celebrate NVRD. One of the brilliant minds in our class suggested getting donuts and using the accompanying slogan "DoNut forget to Vote!" which is still one of my absolute favorite lines ever. With the allure of sugar, stickers, and smiles, we engaged a number of students and hopefully got them excited about casting their ballot in November.
After such a wild start to the week, the rest of it seems rather tame but the whole time, we had students working hard on UIndy Votes! Like a proud professor that I am, I took roughly three dozen pictures (no joke) of my students hard at work. Scroll below for just a sampling of the admittedly terrible photographic proof.*
* I keep blaming my camera (aka 5 year old iPhone) for the poor quality of my pictures but I have slowly come to the realization that is probably not the tool but rather the operator who is responsible for the product. I am not sure what I am doing (or perhaps, not doing?) to generate such lack-luster photographs. On the plus side, thank goodness for Instagram. #nofilter? #nofun! #alwaysfilter #seriously.