Student leaders encourage classmates to vote


A panel of Detroit Mercy students urged their classmates to vote in the Nov. 3 election during a recent online gathering.

“When you don’t vote, you allow someone else to decide who gets to represent you and who makes decisions that will affect you, your loved ones and your communities,” said Luciano Marcon, a member of the Student Government Association.

The association hosted the virtual voting presentation, “Get Out and Vote,” via Zoom.

Aside from offering practical information about voting laws and voter registration, students fielded questions from participants

One student asked via chat, “Do you think students have political fatigue?”

Panelist Kenneth Donaldson was eager to answer.

“I know political fatigue exists because I personally have political fatigue,” he said.

As a political science major, he follows many news sources and is “queued in,” he said.

Donaldson stressed the need to take breaks from the political world – as well as the responsibility to stay informed.

He also emphasized the importance of local elections, which he said can get lost amid the national campaigns.

He encouraged students to do their research so that “when Nov. 3 comes around, you know what your ballot is going to look like, you know who you’re voting for and why you’re voting for them,” he said.

Professor Gail Presbey asked via chat, “How would you approach or engage another student who said he or she was ‘apolitical’?”

Raymond Barber chimed in with his opinion.

He stated that he believes it is important that people who identify as apolitical be informed about American civics history so that they can understand why things are the way they are now.

He made reference to a Michigan law in 2018: “It was illegal to pay someone to take you to a voting station,” he said.

He added that it is crucial that people realize the rights that are being taken from them by elected officials.

Marcon added that maybe students claim to be apolitical because they do not know who to trust when it comes to news in the political world.

He recommended that students stop looking to only social media for their news and encouraged them to pick up their local newspaper every once and a while.

Donaldson urged students to turn off cable news.

“It’s not news, it’s entertainment,” he said.

Barber put links into the chat, such as for, for students who want good info about voting and politics.

Another student asked for advice on keeping an open mind and staying respectful when conversing about politics with people who have different views.

“We all have biases,” Donaldson said. “Since we all have biases, we have to know what our biases look like, along with knowing why these biases exist.”

He said challenging someone’s political view is essentially challenging their world experiences.

He urged students to keep in mind who they are speaking to and realize that you cannot speak to everyone.

Remain humble and ask questions, he advised.

Other guests and participants at the event included university President Antoine Garibaldi, Dean Monica Williams, Associate Dean of Students Dorothy Stewart and student leader Ben Westphal.

The student government association is dedicated to helping students exercise their right to vote in this historic election to come.