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October 2001

Campuses Mobilize After Terrorist Attack

CUNY's "Success Express" Highlights Grads
Freshman Enrollment Rises at CUNY
First Festival Presented by Gotham Center
CUNY TV enhances recruiting outreach
U.S. Cheers Poet Laureate: Prof. Billy Collins
A Dream of Food On Washington Mall
Navy League Award to Hunter Physicist
Nine Leading Scholars Named Distinguished Professors
Haitian First Lady, CCNY Alumna, Feted
Baruch College Opens Vertical Campus
Historic Matters
Baruch Center Confronts Quality of Urban Life
Hunter College Historian Communes with the Saints
A Displaced Person Discovers His Place on Campus
CUNY Students Vault into Poll Work
Double Play for CUNY Broadcasters
CUNY Students Vault into Poll Work

cuny vote illustrationOn Election Day in November, polling sites in the five boroughs are going to be even more densely populated by CUNY students than usual. Not only will thousands of newly registered student voters, reached through the University’s well- established Project Vote initiative, be pulling the levers, but there will also be well over 1,000 students working as official, paid poll workers in the primary, run-off, and general elections (and thanks to recent State legislation, earning as much as $660).

Anticipating a shortage of about 4,000 poll workers in the September and November elections, the Board of Elections in the spring called on CUNY for help in filling these positions. It was hoped that an intense period of recruitment over the summer—organized by the Office of University Relations and special poll-worker coordinators appointed by college presidents (and assisted by many Project Vote staffers)—might yield 1,000 students. However, in the end 1,600 potential poll workers signed up for July/August training sessions.

students attending training
Seen here are students attending a poll working training session held at New York City Technical College this summer. They are with Board of Elections trainer, Amelia Smith-Parker, center, and Board employee Harold Williams, second from right. Photo, Michele Forsten.

At a July press conference, City Councilman A. Gifford Miller, who proposed this massive CUNY/Board of Elections collaboration, said, “I am thrilled that CUNY can make a difference in the coming election by adding well over 1,000 student poll workers. It is a great experience for them and will boost our election worker base.”

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein remarked on the “longstanding tradition of encouraging voter registration, enfranchisement, and participation in the electoral process. I am pleased CUNY students are once again leaders in civic involvement.” Goldstein also asked campus leaders and teachers to help accommodate these students in fulfilling their commitment to the electoral process.

Project Vote’s participation in the recruitment push exemplifies the University’s long-standing commitment to voter participation. The Project, active on every CUNY campus since 1987, is responsible for registering more voters than any other New York City agency (approximately 60% of new registrants in recent years), and in fact since 1995 has been mandated by State election law to distribute voter registration forms.

Among the active supporters of this new CUNY program are the Citizens Union, the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), and the University Student Senate.