The Washington College SGA created a “Flock to the Polls” challenge in order to increase student participation in this year’s election season. To incentivize students to take the voter pledge, they convinced faculty and staff members to commit to various challenges and for every 50 students that took the “I Voted” Pledge, the next person on the list was called upon.
The culminating event once the challenge totaled 300 voters was a chilly jump into the Chester River –made good on this past weekend — by Interim Provost and Dean of the College, Michael Harvey.
“Thanks to the SGA for everything you did,” said Harvey during brief remarks from the dock just before taking the plunge, “and to everybody who encouraged massive turnout this year. Voting is one of the most important things we can do as citizens and I’m proud to be a small, ridiculous part of that effort.”
The reward of seeing the Provost take the plunge seemed to be a big motivator to get the pledge count up to a total of 300.
The SGA wanted to thank all students, faculty, and staff that participated in these activities and voting,” said Maegan White ’23, Secretary of Service and Community Relations for the SGA. “Being completely virtual makes it hard for students to connect with professors and staff but the student’s excitement to share they voted and having so many faculty and staff enthusiastic to do crazy activities goes to show our community’s commitment to uniting and being citizen leaders.”
The “Flock to the Polls” campaign – a fitting moniker for a school that affectionately refers to the community as “Goose Nation” and boasts Gus the Goose as a mascot – ran from October 28 – November 3, with SGA members taking to social media to encourage students to join the challenge. Prior to that, the SGA also solicited responses from faculty and staff for two separate “Why I Vote” video compilations that offered students reasons why voting is so important and encouraging voter registration.
Other challenges included faculty members who dyed their hair pink, wore Halloween costumes to class, created TikTok videos and got pie’d in the face, among others.
“I’ve gone pink to thank you for pledging to vote this election season,” said Professor James Windelborn, Assistant Professor of Biology, who dyed his beard pink for the cause. “Thank you for supporting democracy and our democratic institutions.” Professor Jennifer Benson, Associate Professor of Philosophy, also dyed her hair pink.
Link to video of Provost Harvey’s Chester River plunge: https://washcoll.sharepoint.com/:v:/s/NewsandNotesfromtheCPG/ERs3oPtSFudHg85AxYkh4esB5rN28uCevok2VdhFsESpgA?e=ovG5nR
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