The perks of attending a women’s college in a swing state during election season are that a flood of celebrities and politicians pass through Philadelphia. On another beautiful sunny day at the Mawr this past Wednesday November 2, Academy Award winning actress Anne Hathaway made a stop at Bryn Mawr College, among other universities in the area. In her brief 10-minute speech, Hathaway encouraged us to get out and vote, and of course, to vote Hillary Clinton for president. With just less than a week to Election Day, the campaign spirit on campus has been very active. If the below picture does not accurately describe how invested Bryn Mawr students are in this election, let me tell you about the other ways students are getting involved in voter registration and participation outreach efforts.
Bryn Mawr College Civic Engagement offers resources for many new first years and other students to register to vote or change their voter registration state. The Bryn Mawr College chapter of NextGenClimate also tabled to get students on campus registered.
Both Bryn Mawr College Democrats and the Bryn Mawr College chapter of NextGenClimate have been hosting weekly phone bankings. Phone banking is a easy, low commitment way to reach out to someone to encourage them to not only vote, but to also inform them of their polling location.
So far, Michelle and Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, BD Wong, Constance Wu, Cecile Richards, and, now, Anne Hathaway have made campaign stops in Philadelphia. Katy Perry is expected to come this weekend to give a free GOTV concert in support of Hillary. Even Hillary Clinton and Timothy Kaine themselves have held rallies in Philadelphia. All Mawrters have to do is hop on the SEPTA to attend these events.
Pretty much every Bryn Mawr student is posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat about this election. We are a very politically aware campus.
If you’re registered to vote using Bryn Mawr College as your residence, your polling location is the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church (Voting hours 7am-8pm). Bryn Mawr College offers free van shuttle service to and from the location, and it is only a 5 minute walk from campus.
What have I been up to?
Like most Mawrters, I have been tracking the news headlines, the debates, the percentages on FiveThirtyEight, etc. I have also been involved with voter outreach efforts organized by VietLead, an Asian American organization based in Philadelphia. A couple weeks ago, I was stationed at a Vietnamese supermarket helping Vietnamese Americans register to vote. This past Wednesday, I went to Swarthmore College to phone bank with VietLead and the Swarthmore Asian Organization. I plan on door knocking in South Philly with VietLead and Swarthmore Asian Organization this Saturday. I think it is important to get more Asian Americans out to the polls because our community faces substantial political apathy and low polling turnout. I have also been able to meet some new Tri-Co friends along the way! I made friends with a girl on the Swat van, a Swat guy who lead me to the phone banking place because I was lost, and a Swat girl who was also phone banking. It is empowering to join efforts with others who care about the same issues you care about and share some of that Tri-Co love <3