I am writing this blog post to highlight the efforts of students and faculty to promote active participation in the US political process.
It can be easy(ier) to disconnect from US politics when living outside the US. I am proud to say that in the months leading up to the US election, many Quest students and faculty, US citizens and otherwise, committed themselves to involvement in US political discourse. I would like to use this post to highlight a few of them:
2nd year Ava and 3rd year Elijah found out about how difficult it is for US citizens living outside the US to vote. They heard that the process is often very complicated and drawn out – so much so that in 2012, the voter turnout of abroad citizens was only 12 percent. They decided to make a change. Together, they committed to making it as easy as possible for students to vote in this pivotal election. They set up a voter registration booth in the Atrium building for multiple hours over many days; complete with forms for people to fill out, baked goods to give, and smiles of encouragement. The two students then brought those registration forms to the US embassy in Vancouver, in order to make sure they made it to the US in time. Together, Elijah and Ava registered 60+ students to vote. Out of a school of 700, this is a lot. They then set up another booth a couple weeks later, to collect absentee ballots, and send them to the US. Ava and Elijah are an example of Quest students’ commitment to the political process.
On the night of the election both students and faculty opened their doors to the community, offering support and space for students to watch history unfold. Tutor Rich Wildman, who lives on campus with his family, sent a note to the student body inviting them to watch the election at his apartment. Many students took the opportunity to spend the election night with Rich, and the space was packed with students of all years, commenting the unfolding of the night.
I also hosted an election watching party; students sat on my couch watched the election results unfold on our projector screen for over five hours. The level of support and discussion that was in my room was reflective of the passion that Quest students have for not only politics, but the future of our world.
I am proud to go a school that encourages our the involvement and immersion of students in politics. I am proud to be surrounded with students who are committed to being involved in political discourse. I am proud to go a school in which faculty members invite students to take part in active involvement in politics. Our dedication to creating a future of which we are proud is not over now that the election is over. Students are planning on setting up booths to raise money for Standing Rock next week. We will stay involved, stay curious, stay passionate: students at Quest may be in Canada, but the future of the US, and the world, is on our minds today.