As the general election gets closer, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater students are constantly reminded to prepare and register to vote. Warhawks Vote, an organization that has been active since 2007, was designed to provide information to UW-Whitewater’s campus community on elections, registration and voting.
Louis Fucilla, assistant professor and co-director of Warhawks Vote, said increased voter awareness and participation is the organization’s ultimate goal.
“I think there is a fairly high sense of alienation and disengagement from politics among younger voters. They see politics as uninteresting, too complex or unlikely to be responsive to the interests they have,” Fucilla said. “However, we have to fight against this and we have to help younger voters see the importance of participation.”
Fucilla and his colleague and co-director, Assistant Professor Eric Loepp, have set strictly non-partisan rules to help students register and encourage them to become regular voters. To reach the UW-W community, Fucilla and Loepp have shared information online through the updated website and visited students in classes.
“Since voting requirements and dates often change, a big task this year was to build and update the Warhawks Vote website,” Loepp said. “The voting process can be challenging but this initiative seeks to make it a little bit easier along the way. If you are not sure what to do if you want to vote we can help point you in the right direction.”
Warhawks Vote’s goal is to not only encourage UW-W students to vote in this election but in all political processes to come. Associate Director of Career & Leadership Development and University Liaison with the City Clerk Jan Bilgen described the establishment of Warhawks Vote as a long term influencer for voter activity.
“We know that when people start voting when they are in college age they are more likely to continue voting over their lifetime,” Bilgen said. “I also feel like we have helpful create an environment where once someone registers and votes here they can navigate other municipalities when they graduate and continue voting through their lifetime.”
The general election for the state of Wisconsin is Nov 6. The information provided for registration and voting for the UW-W campus community can be found at http://www.uww.edu/vote.