Want to build your civic skills? Our next workshop is Thursday, October 18 from 12:30-2:00 pm in Madison Union 405 where you can learn what constitutes a need for political or civic action. This workshop aims to help students who are interested in submitting a civic engagement proposal for a JMU student mini-grant. We'll discuss:
- Issues you care about;
- How to identify the root causes and effects of a problem or issue;
- How to analyze contemporary and relevant problems or issues through public policy;
- Examine the role of government and civic institutions in a specific case study.
The full Civic 10dencies schedule, descriptions, and RSVP form is here.
2018 Virginia Student Democracy Summit
On September 28, JMU hosted the 2018 Virginia Student Democracy Summit. Organized by Campus Vote Project, Virginia 21, Piedmont Virginia Community College and the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement, more than 10 campuses from across the state of Virginia were represented. Students had the opportunity to: learn about the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement; learn about voting and registration drives from Harrisonburg Director of Elections Debbie Logan and from Gary Ellis of the VA Department of Elections; attend workshops on political and news information literacy and effective messaging; tabletop discussions on public issues; and hear from keynote speaker Traci DeShazor, Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth. Campus Vote Project concluded the summit with a session helping students outline a voter engagement plan to take back and implement on their campuses.
Highlights from "Civicize We" (our new blog)
The Office of the President’s Madison Vision Series kicked off its 2018-2019 series on Constitution Day with patriotic philanthropist David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group. Our Democracy Fellow Anna Connole highlighted key takeaways from Mr. Rubenstein’s talk on our blog.
“People who are more knowledgeable about our government, more knowledgeable about our Constitution, probably are going to be better citizens, vote more intelligently and be more engaged in our country.” – David Rubenstein
Our Engagement Fellow Shelby Taraba attended Harrisonburg Mayor Deanna Reed’s forum on the homelessness crisis in Harrisonburg and wrote an Op-Ed on homelessness that was published by The Breeze and on our blog. Shelby also wrote about her experience participating in United Way's Community Tour.
On Friday, September 21, Dukes Vote held its first Civic Coffee Donut Discussion on the topic of "Addressing Sexual Misconduct at JMU." To frame our conversation, we developed a brief primer with some statistics, questions, resources and some recommendations for next steps based on our discussions. Read more on our blog here. Our next Civic Coffee Donut Discussion is Friday, October 5 at 9:30 am in Burruss 243 and we’ll be talking about the Supreme Court nomination process.
The Madison Center and Dukes Vote celebrated democracy in September with lots of activities and tabling on Constitution Day and National Voter Registration Day (really it was a week for us) in D-Hall, UREC, on the Quad, in Festival and at the College of Education (thanks to Kara Kavanaugh!). On NVRD, JMU political scientists Marty Cohen, Kathleen Ferraiolo, and David Jones held a symposium on political polarization. Following the symposium, the Madison Center and Dukes Vote hosted a screening of the documentary Electoral Dysfunction in the Planetarium.
JMU Libraries celebrated Constitution Day with a few rounds of Constitutional Jeopardy in Rose and Carrier Libraries, organized by Kerry Scannell and Ryan Winfree! The simplest question on the board seemed to stump almost every single participant: Who was the only U.S. president other than James Madison to sign the Constitution? Most incorrectly answered Thomas Jefferson, but everyone was a winner when they got a 'We the People' sugar cookie. Oh, and the answer is George Washington!
Thank you to all the faculty who have supported our voter education and engagement efforts. So far this semester we have done more than 65 class visits (as of 10/2). During these visits, we’re able to meet students where they are, discuss opportunities for civic engagement and register any last minute voters! Class visits also serve as a resource for students to ask any questions about voting, registering, or getting involved in activities sponsored by the Madison Center and Dukes Vote! If you’d like us to come register students or give a five-minute presentation, please fill out this form.
Have questions about voter registration or voting? Visit our FAQ page or stop by our Civic Suite (Burruss Hall 243). We’ve also created “Election Central” with information on all our festivities celebrating elections and democracy leading up to the midterms.
One Vote Documentary Screening: One Vote tells compelling stories of diverse American voters on Election Day. Please join us in the Planetarium on October 4 at 5:30 pm for a screening and discussion about voting in America with One Vote Filmmaker Christine Woodhouse. This will be a passport event so be sure to get there early!
COSPU, Congolese Community, Faith in Action, James Madison Center for Civic Engagement, JMU Latino Student Alliance, Latinos de Valle, NewBridges Immigrant Resource Center, Skyline Literacy, and VIVA are co-organizing a Harrisonburg City Council Candidates Immigrant Forum on Saturday, October 6 at 4:30 pm at the Lucy Simms Center. Come ask your questions to the candidates and hear their visions for serving our immigrant community.
Join us for AbsenTea Time at the Commons (adjacent to D-Hall) on Monday October 8 from 3:00-5:00 pm. Dukes Vote is partnering with MAD4U & Women of Color to offer students an opportunity to fill out their absentee ballots complete with tea, scones, music, stamps, envelopes, and conversation!
In partnership with the Office of Residence Life, the Madison Center and Dukes Vote is organizing a Traveling Candidate Town Hall on October 10. Local, Congressional and Senate candidates (or their representatives) will visit three JMU Residence Halls to talk with students about the importance of the elections and why they are running.
This election season, The Madison Center and Dukes Vote are partnering with Professor Andreas Broscheid’s honors Political Science Class and The Citizen, a new civic media journal in Harrisonburg co-published by Journalism Professor Ryan Alessi and Andrew Jenner, to produce and publish a nonpartisan student voter education guide on candidates. The guide will be published in conjunction with our Traveling Town Hall.
Thanks to Dave Stringham, Jesse Rathgeber, and their students for developing a music-filled Party at the Precinct (Convocation Center) on Election Day (November 6)! Co-sponsored by #VoteTogether, we are organizing an Election Night Watch Party in Madison Union Ballroom from 7:00-10:00 pm featuring both substantive presentations and social performances, including by Jen Domagal-Goldman from ALL IN Challenge, DJ Golden Boy, and Political Poetry Readings from the Furious Flower! Find all our Election-related activities at our Election Central webpage.
Important Election-related Dates
Monday, October 15, 2018 is the last day to Register/Update Address in Virginia.
Tuesday, October 30, 2018 is the last day to Request Absentee Ballot by mail by: 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 3, 2018 is the last day to Request Absentee Ballot by appearing in person by: 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 6, VOTE!