Lasell Votes: the season finale

By Ruth Kehinde – Digital Editor

L-R junior Taylor Viles, senior Jared Giurleo, junior Mathieu Ouellet, and senior John MacLean watch presidential election results in the Science and Technology Center.
Photo by Mike Maruk.

Lasell Votes sent out a student-wide email promoting their organization and ways on how Lasers could vote; providing a Zoom link for anyone to join. These zoom calls took place every Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., starting from September 22 to the Election Day on November 3. The Lasell Votes Team is run by Library Director Anna Sarneso and Associate Director of the Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL) Byrd Hughes.

Before their Tuesday gatherings, this organization was able to provide information to Resident Assistants (RAs) and Area Coordinators in Residential Life in an in-service live presentation that occurred on September 20. This in-service added to the contingent of the many RA trainings so RAs could branch out to residents in a familiar way that Lasell Votes couldn’t. Sarneso and sophomore student representative Micheal Woo spoke about voter registration; giving RAs insight on how to further use their role to assist in the election year. 

“Lasell Votes’ overall goal is to help with registering to vote while reminding students about deadlines in what course of action they’re using in their voting plans. We say this every time someone pops into one of our zoom calls,” junior Lasell Votes member Anna King said. 

According to an email from Student Activities on October 19, the Couch Party: Vote Early Day program, sponsored by the All In To Vote’s Nation Campaign, was open to the [entire] Lasell community to interact with peers through a platform called, OutVote, that gave attendees the space to share their voting plans.

Lasell Votes also hosted a watch party event of the second Presidential Debate with Student Government Association (SGA), Campus Activities Board (CAB), and Lasell Village over Zoom on October 22 to witness the points of both presidential candidates while submitting questions for the Presidential Debate Panel discussion for the day after. 

Residents watch presidential election results in the Woodland Hall common room.
Photo by Mike Maruk.

“It was interesting to see the reaction of students … I’m glad I was able to attend to witness other reactions than my own,” said attendee part-time Writing and Communications Coordinator Professor Stephaine Schorow.

On October 30, Lasell Votes hosted a “Preparing For The Election” confidential program where individuals from Lasell Village, students, faculty, and staff were able to break off into various affinity groups to exchange opinions towards the election and came back together as a large group to share what each break out groups’ concern was. 

“I thought it went well … I think the structure is one that could be great moving forward.  It allows people to be a little less guarded when sharing… It allowed me to connect with people on a personal level, since I was speaking just as the Library Director but also as a member of the LGBTQ+ community,” Sarnerso said.

This event invited individuals to go to Lasell Votes and the Counseling Center on Election Day with the long process of waiting for the results.

On November 10, “Bringing the Lasell Community Together: A Post-Election Town Hall” took place. This virtual event occurred just as the pre-Election Day event, where attendees were put into break groups to state uncensored opinions about the results of the election.

CNN updated presidential election results on November 3.
Photo by Mike Maruk.

These opinions ranged into a wide-variety of feelings. Additionally, it was made evident who attendees supported based on the numbers in each break room. Regardless of the various perspectives, the one aspect that was the same was the curiosity of what’s next.

Nevertheless, in the lively journey towards the election, hosting these voting-related events was done to unite the Lasell Community. In an election that seemed to separate individuals more than social distancing would, these events paved a space for Lasers to express freely in their political views. Even though the election is over, Lasell Votes isn’t. It can always be reached if students still have any lingering questions or concerns.

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