With the upcoming General Elections on Nov. 7, the Center for Diversity & Inclusion (CDI) encouraged DePauw students to get involved. First announced at the President’s Council meeting last week, Joseph Harris, the Assistant Director of the CDI, emphasized the project’s importance in cultivating a sense of community and belonging for DePauw students by voting specifically on local elections.

One of the pillars of the CDI’s values is the sense of belonging for DePauw students. To Harris, that sense of belonging comes from the ability to have a voice in the decisions regarding where one lives and whom they live with, especially when a student typically spends 7-8 months a year at DePauw. Despite being a private institution, DePauw does not exist in a vacuum. DePauw students engage with many services in Greencastle, from the Almost Home restaurant to the occasional Jazz concerts downtown. The Hartman Center for Civic Engagement has also been actively advocating for the connection and contribution from DePauw students to the Greencastle community through their many community service programs, including after-school mentorship and elderly care.

In a small town like Greencastle with only around 10,000 residents, a few votes possess significant weight in administrative matters. This year’s goal aligns with “Paws to the Polls,” a continuing initiative aimed at boosting student involvement in voting. Moving forward, Harris hoped that more speakers could come to DePauw to further familiarize students with the voting process.

The necessary documents to cast the votes are a voter registration and a State ID (in this case, Indiana). The voter registration form can be submitted in the form of mail-in, direct submission, and online submission. Harris suggested students come to the CDI for a physical copy for mail-in or direct submission because it is easy to forget to submit online. For students without an Indiana State ID, they can contact the CDI for funding to apply for one. CDI-affiliated organizations are also instructed to inform their members about the process and collect interested members’ names. While international students cannot directly vote, Harris highly recommends them learning about the voting procedure in the U.S. and upcoming candidates. He also notes that there is no restriction on expressing one’s opinions to people who can legally vote. 

The due date for the voter registration is Oct. 10! The CDI is open for any questions and support with paperwork!