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Rowan-Cabarrus Assists Students and Employees with Voter Education, Registration, and Transportation

STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION SAYS, “LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!”

“We worked hard, had fun, and learned much… which was the goal of the educational event; we wanted to stress to these students why it is so imperative to vote,” said Beth Bowman, a GED instructor for the college.

SALISBURY, N.C. — As the election nears, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is placing a greater emphasis on voter education.

“It may seem to some that it’s not important to vote or that their votes do not matter,” said Student Government Association President James Hopkins. “In their eyes, one person cannot make a difference, but how will you ever know? Voting is a right given to every United States citizen; it is a way to let your voice be heard. Rowan-Cabarrus has worked hard to get this point across to all students and faculty.”

Rowan-Cabarrus has continually offered voter registration to all students on both campuses throughout the election year.

“This is one of the most important elections of our lifetime, and each one of us has an important role to play in weighing in on the issues and priorities that matter most for our community,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “I also want to see our younger generation voting in larger numbers. Older people are far more likely to vote than younger people. We are trying to reinforce good habits of citizenship starting with education and ending with participation.”

The college uses its Student Government Association (SGA) van to transport students to and from the polls for early voting. Student Clarice Spencer hitched a ride in the SGA van to vote early after some of her morning classes ended.

“I think it is an excellent idea to take students to the polls,” she said. Clarice has been an avid voter for years, volunteering at the polls and talking to people about the issues and candidates. “I realized that instead of sitting and watching that I need to participate in this thing,” she said. “I figured maybe one vote does make a difference.”

“We want our students to be engaged,” said Natasha Lipscomb, the college’s director of student life and leadership. “It’s not okay just to be here learning and not gain insight into the democratic process.”

In addition to voter registration and assistance getting to the polls, the college recently hosted a forum featuring twelve local candidates. The event was attended by a crowd of fifty individuals who discussed the reality that a majority of people have either a lack of knowledge or lack of concern about the elections.

Through the use of social media sites, the college has been trying to convey the message to students about the importance of voting by informing them of where and how to get registered. Students with full class loads, and anyone with busy schedules can register and vote in one visit, saving time and the inconvenience of being in a crowded line on election day.

“Students need to know that everyone has an opinion on what’s best for our country, and that they have the constitutional right to express that opinion,” said Bowman.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu or call 704-216-RCCC (7222). The college is currently registering students for spring classes.

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