July 22, 2016

SUNY Empire State College and UUP Rock the Vote

Student Suzanne Lazar, left, Professor Karen Garner and Director of Student Accounts Pamela Malone were among the Rock the Vote Volunteers. Photo/Empire State College
Student Suzanne Lazar, left, Professor Karen Garner and Director of Student Accounts Pamela Malone were among the Rock the Vote Volunteers. Photo/Karen Mattison, UUP

Student Suzanne Lazar, Professor Karen Garner and Pamela Malone, the college’s director of student accounts and president of the United University Professions chapter, participated in Rock the Vote, a national, nonpartisan voter-registration campaign.

Volunteers Lazar, Garner and Malone set up an information table on Saturday, July 9, at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in order to encourage fellow citizens to “take the pledge” with Rock the Vote.

According to Rock the Vote, pledging means: “Pledge that this year you’ll be informed, volunteer, register to vote, watch a debate, show up to the polls, or encourage your circles to get out there.”

By taking the pledge, citizens also sign up to receive email election reminders.

“Initially we were just going to try to get people to register, who weren't already,” said Lazar, who also edits The Student Connection, the college’s online student-run newsletter. “Pamela Malone came up with the idea to do somewhat of a contest, which became our Rock the Vote campaign, where we gave away t-shirts to those who went online at our table via smartphone, and made a pledge to vote.”

Forty-three people stopped by the SUNY Empire table between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. The college’s Rock the Vote team gave away 39 "Rock the Vote @ SUNY" t-shirts to visitors.

The t-shirts were provided by UUP.

Karen Mattison, UUP’s associate director of communications, also volunteered and was on hand to photograph the event.

“The overall reaction was supportive and many thanked us for being publicly visible,” added Lazar.  “Most people were already registered, but they were glad we were there to raise awareness about the importance of voting.”

As part of the college’s overall SUNY Empire Votes campaign, participation at upcoming farmers markets is in the process of being scheduled and planning is underway for collegewide forums for this coming September and October.

Members of the college community interested in volunteering with SUNY Empire Votes are urged to contact Anita Brown, collegewide career development coordinator, at Anita.Brown@esc.edu.

About Rock the Vote

Rock the Vote is the largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization in the United States driving young people to the polls. Fusing pop culture, politics and technology, Rock the Vote works to mobilize the millennial voting bloc and the youth vote, protect voting rights and advocate for an electoral process and voting system that works for the 21st-century electorate.

Rock the Vote does not support or endorse candidates, or advocate for one political party over another.

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