Have you noticed the booth set up in Aramark and at chapel?
It started with a petition. When Bethany Janzen asked her classmates to sign a pro-life appeal, she discovered that many of them were not even registered to vote. On discussing this with Tony Caito, the political science professor, Janzen developed the idea of a voter registration drive to help students become more involved. Through their combined efforts, Janzen and Caito have made the idea a reality.
The drive takes place Oct. 7 through 11. There will be a booth arranged outside of chapel from 10:50 to 11:30 on Monday and Wednesday. Additionally, there will be a table in the dining hall during lunch and dinner hours.
According to Caito, this drive fits perfectly with the goals of the new political science program, serving as an example of the leadership and political engagement he wants to develop on campus. It also represents the first collaboration between the political science department and other offices, which he said will become more common in the future as Corban seeks to help its students become greater leaders in their world.
With Caito’s support, Janzen is acting as what she described as “the student leader of the drive.” Her time has been spent networking with students and recruiting helpers to assist with the registration booths as well as to announce the drive in their classes. She has also been preparing flyers to post around campus and send via email. Meanwhile, Caito has been involved in arranging the drive locations with Provost Matt Lucas, chapel administration, and Aramark. He has ordered 2,000 voter registration forms and has created supplemental flyers and forms, which include instructions on how to fill out the forms.
Why all this effort, though? Because, according to Janzen, “In registering to vote—and voting essentially—you can make a difference for Christ.” As Caito said, people voting across the board creates a more engaged and involved citizenry, which leads to a healthier society as a whole. “That’s good for America—to be more politically engaged,” he said.
Both he and Janzen stressed the idea that as Christians, students should make use of their right to vote. “As American Christians, we have a lot of influence in society and the world,” Caito said. “We have to know how to manage that power.” One way to manage it, he explained, is through the political system, where Christians can use godly standards to make a difference. “God wants us to make the world better,” he said.
Janzen pointed out how Kate Brown, Oregon’s Secretary of State, won her first election as state representative by only six votes, demonstrating the significance of each voter’s involvement. “Every single vote matters,” Janzen said.
Students are busy, but voting is a simple responsibility, according to Caito and Janzen. “Realistically, it doesn’t take much time to vote,” Janzen said. The registration form itself, according to Caito, requires little more than a name and address. As for making time for the actual voting process, Janzen suggested prioritizing what can make the most impact for Christ. If it takes an hour, she said, “Maybe that’s an hour we can give up.” Also, Caito mentioned that the college will provide more information on current issues and candidates so that students will have less doubts about engaging in elections.
“As Corban students we have an opportunity for good—to not let evil triumph,” Janzen said. “And we should take that opportunity.”