FMN to host 2016 Mock Election on campus
By Melissa Carrick
The University of Findlay’s Findlay Media Network (FMN) is set to host a mock election Tuesday, Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The mock election will give students the opportunity to participate in the process of voting just as they would on Election Day.
“One of my missions as a student newspaper adviser is to use the paper as an opportunity to raise the level of consciousness on campus about pressing current issues,” said Amy Rogan, assistant professor of communication at UF. “I think this is a great opportunity to do that and to get our communication students the opportunity to practice event planning and campaign and social media strategy as well as how to cover politics as an objective journalist.”
Students, faculty, and staff can voice their vote at one of two locations on campus. Voting locations will be set up in the AMU lobby near the fire place and in the Davis Street Building main lobby for most of the day. Students are encouraged to come and vote for who they see fit to be president as well as interact with local, state, and federal representatives.
Ohio Rep. Robert Sprague and candidate for Ohio State Representative Mary Harshfield will be at the AMU voting location to meet and mingle with students, giving students the opportunity to discuss not only national politics, but local politics, too. Sprague and Harshfield will be at the mock election from 12-1 p.m.
At 4 p.m. in the AMU, Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik will speak to students about the importance of voting and civic knowledge and engagement.
Though the mock election does not count toward voting in the 2016 election, students will be able to mirror the process of actually voting in preparation for Election Day on Nov. 8.
Dave Emsweller, vice president of student affairs, believes being an active voter is important.
“Mock elections provide an opportunity for students to consider and discuss the candidates and their stance on various issues. Hopefully, casting a vote in a mock election will encourage a person to go and vote on Election Day,” Emsweller said. “It’s critical that students vote and that they get involved in the process. An event like this encourages that.”
Jacob King, president of PRSSA, and Sarah Stubbs, student editor of the Pulse have been planning the event for months along with the help of UFTV president Steve Mathie and other members of FMN. According to King, the planning process has been quite tedious with many obstacles, but is a learning process for the organization that will ultimately benefit UF students.
King is proud of what he and the rest of FMN have lined up for Tuesday.
“Disregarding the struggles, the entire planning process has taught us a great deal about preparation and persistency in work. I am very proud that the organization and myself have persevered and are close to our goal of producing an educational event about politics,” King said.
Jan Taylor, director of career planning at UF, believes that whether students are voting for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson, or Jill Stein, it is important for everyone to be involved in the mock election and the general election because it’s our democratic privilege and right to vote.
“Our right as citizens of the United States are so very important…The more we participate in our democracy by staying informed about issues and voting, the more we preserve this democracy and build a government on what is important to us as individuals, families, and a nation,” Taylor said.
King encourages students to come out and vote for who they see fit to run our country as this election is one of the most unconventional elections our nation has witnessed. Because of the unconventionality, King sees it to be crucial that students are educated about it.
Not only will students be able to vote for president at the mock election and possibly meet local politicians, they will also receive a free T-shirt and an entry into one of three separate chances to win a $25 gift card to Chipotle.
The Pulse will announce the winner of the mock election on its Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram when the polls close at 7:30 p.m.
Prior, during, and post event, students are encouraged to tweet #RockTheMock with their political opinions, insight, or questions to keep the conversation going.
“It is all too evident in our current political climate, there is a serious lack of engagement or substantive conversation about important issues facing our nation and our world. Until voters demand better, they won’t get better,” said Darin Fields, vice president of academic affairs.