August 31, 1998 | The University
“Bringing Diversity to Democracy” is the theme of The City University of New York’s system-wide non-partisan voter registration program. October 9 is the deadline for new voters to register with the New York City Board of Elections in order to vote in the November 3 general election.
CUNY colleges are distributing thousands of brochures explaining how to register to vote and who is eligible, along with voter registration forms, pens, and posters emphasizing the theme, to students when they register for classes and at freshman orientation programs. Students who have already registered are being urged to take the materials home to friends and family.
Interim Chancellor Christoph M. Kimmich recalls registering to vote in his first year in college. “As a naturalized citizen, I remember that act as an affirmative commitment. The University is a good place to introduce individuals to this important aspect of being an American. The experience of a CUNY student–whether newly naturalized or citizen by birth–is the experience of becoming involved. Because many of our students come to CUNY without the experience of having a voice in how they are governed, it is our special privilege to introduce them to voting. Because full participation is vital to our democracy, it is also our responsibility.”
Among the campus events scheduled for the voter registration drive will be:
- Voter registration tables set up outside of bookstores and other campus locations. At the Hunter College bookstore, anyone who completes the voter registration form will get a 7% discount on clothing purchases.
- At New York City Technical College, television monitors in lobbies and other public spaces will display voter registration information continuously.
- At LaGuardia Community College, voter registration commercials will run on the campus radio station and guest speakers will emphasize the importance of voting. Informational videos will be shown on monitors in the lobby and opposite the bookstore. For those who have registered, a voting machine demonstration will be held in the E Building atrium on October 28.
- At Queens College’s Club Day on September 9, 125 clubs have joined together to give out voter registration forms during recruitment of new members.
- Baruch College students who register on-line receive the voter registration form with their bills.
- Student members of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) will staff voter registration tables and will speak at freshman orientation sessions at Brooklyn College, City College, Hunter College, New York City Technical College, the College of Staten Island, Queensborough Community College, Queens College and CUNY Law School.
Other activities include:
- All CUNY student applicants received a voter registration form as part of CUNY’s Freshman Admissions Guide.
- The registration form is also available online through CUNY’s Web home page.
- The Office of University Relations and the University Student Senate have provided 45 CUNY student newspapers with camera-ready copies of the voter registration form and a letter encouraging them to publish it to remind students to register and vote.
- Voter Registration Coordinators have been designated at each campus to work with faculty and students to make sure that all students receive voter registration forms.
- Students With Disabilities Offices on every campus are providing assistance to students who are physically unable to fill out the forms themselves.
For further information or sample materials, please write to CUNY Voter Registration Coordinator Eileen P. Doherty, Esq., The City University of New York, 535 East 80th Street, New York, N.Y. 10021 or call 212-794-5325.