Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) has committed to encouraging and stimulating Collegewide political involvement during the current election season. The recently released National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE) conducted by Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life found that in the 2012 Presidential Election, 60 percent of FSCJ’s student population voted, and 31 percent participated in the 2014 Midterm Election. While the data shows that our students demonstrated more engagement than most of the other institutions with the Carnegie classification, there is still room for growth.
To increase voter registration, representatives from the Supervisor of Elections’ office are regularly visiting each campus to promote and facilitate registration among not only our students, but also our faculty and staff. Representatives from different political parties have been invited to share information at each of the campuses as well. In addition to these site visits, FSCJ is also promoting Turbovote.com, which is an online resource for voter registration and updates, election reminders and absentee ballot application.
Prior to the August 30 primaries, our Student Government Association (SGA) hosted a Republican Primary Debate for Florida’s 4th Congressional District in which five of the candidates discussed topics that directly affect the College, our students and the community. Based on the engagement and positive feedback, FSCJ is pursuing the opportunity to host a debate for the general election as well.
Vice President of Student Services Dr. Chris Holland, Director of Government and Community Engagement Jen Silva and FSCJ’s General Counsel Colin Mailloux, along with select faculty members, are working to connect members of the SGA with the 2017-18 Florida Constitution Review Commission to provide their insights, specifically in areas as they pertain to higher education.
On September 14, Circuit Judge for the 4th Judicial Circuit Adrian G. Soud hosted the 8th Annual Constitution Awareness Day at South Campus. Judge Soud guided students, faculty, staff and interested participants from the community through the U.S. Constitution and its interpretation in today’s judicial system.
“In the spirit of creating an atmosphere of comprehensive, holistic educational experiences and opportunities, it is our responsibility as an institution of higher learning to provide access to objective information and resources,” said Director of Government and Community Engagement Jen Silva. “It is our goal that these efforts will prepare our College community as they head to the polls and make decisions that will directly impact the future.”