Xavier University of Louisiana officially joined The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s network of Vote Everywhere campuses. The Vote Everywhere network works to register voters, bring down voting barriers, and tackle important social justice issues on college campuses.
The Andrew Goodman Foundation also works to fulfill their vision of young people becoming active, engaged citizens who ensure a just democracy and sustainable future.
The foundation has been able to reach over 999,878 students on college campuses nationwide, as well as being able to register 69, 277 voters through the program.
Xavier is now one of 59 colleges and universities in 24 states and Washington D.C. to join the network. Two sophomore political science majors have been selected by the university to serve as Vote Everywhere student ambassadors, Jaleel Ross of Broussard, La., and Tia Alexander of New Orleans, La. Before becoming a Vote Everywhere ambassador Ross said he already had experience in civic engagement and social change.
“Being a political science major and an officer in Xavier’s chapter of College Democrats of Louisiana, I was already interested in increasing voter awareness and community engagement of my peers,” Ross said.
Alexander become an ambassador after being recruited by Ross and Dr. Timothy Glaude, an assistant professor of Science Education at Xavier and the Vote Everywhere campus advocate.
“Simply put, civic engagement is what makes our democracy real and genuine,” Alexander said. “At the end of the day, it is a privilege that we are able to freely vote however we want, even if we don’t always see the desired outcome.”
In summer 2019, both Broussard and Alexander attended the Foundation’s National Civil Leadership Summit. The two will also be participating in ongoing training and receiving continuous support from The Andrew Goodman Foundation. The two will work to register their peers to vote by leading campus-based initiatives addressing social justice and equality.
While serving as ambassadors they will strive to accomplish the goal of motivating their peers to become more actively involved in their communities, helping to educate other students about the civic process.
Ross and Alexander both said they have a strong desire to ensure that their peers are socially aware and registered to vote through planning voter registration drives, sponsoring events that shine a light on local issues, and inviting relevant guest speakers to campus.
“Encouraging civic engagement here on campus will help students become more knowledgeable about what issues impact communities in New Orleans and will give them an opportunity to drive change in those very communities,” Alexander said.
Their professor agreed. “Xavier is excited to join the Vote Everywhere network,” Glaude added. “The Xavier team will work towards increasing voter awareness and encouraging civic responsibility through active participation in local elections. Joining the network will allow students to uphold our university’s mission while working in communities as advocates and agents of change,” Glaude said.