HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM)- The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Social Work received a $2,500 grant from the Forward Mississippi Fund of the Community Foundation for Mississippi to encourage students to go out and vote.
School of Social Work lecturer Karen Aderer says the funds will be divided between the Hattiesburg Campus and the Gulfport campus.
She says students will split up in teams and formulate ideas on the best ways to increase voter turnout in communities less likely to vote.
“Teams had from the beginning of the semester to form and decide what their plan is,” says Aderer. “Some of them decided to throw voter registration parties. Some are targeting faith-based communities. Some are setting up table outside of Dollar General.”
Aderer says the classes will use standard voter registration forms and resources from the Mississippi Secretary of State website.
She says the grant also gives students the opportunity to travel out of state to encourage voting, as well.
Students involved in the Social Work program says it’s their right to know who’s running for office and to go out and vote.
“I believe in Freedom of Speech,” says senior Michaela Andrews. “I don’t want anybody to tell me what to do with my body, where I can’t go and sit down because of my sexual orientation, or anything of that nature. It’s important to me because there are laws that still need to be passed and if we don’t vote, we’re basically saying we don’t care about our rights.”
The Hattiesburg undergraduate BSW club will hold voter registration drives Sept. 25-26, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., in Shoemaker Square on USM campus.
The event is open to the public.