Ballot BoxGAMBIER, Ohio (September 24, 2004) From voter registration drives to faculty lectures to student participation in candidates' campaign efforts, Kenyon and Gambier are gearing up for the November 2 presidential election, spiritedly taking part in what promises to be a very close contest, especially in the critical swing state of Ohio.
Most Kenyon students will cast their first presidential ballot this year, a charge Philip Cooke doesn't take lightly.
"This really is a crucial election," says Cooke, a senior biology major from Crofton, Maryland, who spent the summer working in New York's Madison Square Garden preparing for the Republican National Convention. "People at Kenyon are very aware of what's going on, and pride themselves on it."
"To keep democracy going, everyone needs to get involved," adds John Ziegler, a senior political science major from Oak Park, Illinois. Ziegler has a long family history of political activism, and spent the summer working at Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's national campaign headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Kenyon students' involvement in the campaigns comes as no surprise to senior Ellery Biddle, who led an effort earlier this month to register more than 230 students to vote. "This election, perhaps more than any other in my history, is so important," says Biddle, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, native who recently worked with other students to organize a voter registration table in Peirce and Gund Halls.
Other recent events included a panel discussion on the election, featuring two faculty experts and two alumni political pundits, who offered their predictions and an analysis of the campaigns.
The deadline for voter registration for the 2004 presidential election is October 2.