Students at UMass and the surrounding Five Colleges can register to vote on Saturday, Sept. 18 from 1-4 p.m. at Haigis Mall, or in the Student Union Ballroom in case of rain. The event, “01003 Votes,” refers to the postal zip code for the campus.
Organizers hope to increase voter participation among 18- to 24-year-olds in this presidential election year. Individuals will be able to complete state forms to register in any community in Massachusetts, and apply for absentee ballots from Massachusetts cities and towns. Students from out of state can also complete a national registration form valid in all 50 states along with their state’s absentee ballot application form. The event will feature food and entertainment, a visit from radio station JAMN 94.5 from Boston, local musicians, and several local state lawmakers including Reps. Ellen Story (D-Amherst), John Scibak (D-South Hadley) Benjamin Swan (D-Springfield) and legislative candidate Jeanne Traester, Republican of Amherst.
“01003 Votes! is an important event in that it merges the University’s mission of education and public service with our strong campus tradition of activism,” says Amy Glynn, associate to the vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life.
Already this fall, as part of the university’s First Week activities, Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam Records and chairman of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network visited the campus Sept. 8 with his call for stronger voter turnout by young people in the current election cycle.
This event is co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life and the Student Center for Research and Advocacy.