Thursday, July 31, 2014

Students register

Representatives encourage peers to vote

With City Council elections right around the corner, Liberty University’s Dean of Students Office has positioned students in the hallway of DeMoss to provide their peers with the opportunity to register to vote in the May 6 elections as well as to communicate the importance of voting.

Bradley Milks, assistant director of programming for the Dean of Students Office, expressed how important it is for students to register to vote for the City Council elections.

“Registering to vote, and voting, allows students the opportunity for their voice to be heard by local politicians,” Milks said. “If students fail to register to vote, or vote, local politicians will not know their specific needs.”

Those running in the citywide race for the three at-large seats in the City Council include Keith Anderson, H. Cary, Joan Foster, Randy Nelson, Rhonnie Smith and Treney Tweedy.

Milks pointed out that those elected will make decisions regarding the Lynchburg City Code, which will have a direct impact on Liberty students. He said the City Council helps govern the city of Lynchburg and “is the chief legislative body of the municipal corporation.” According to The City of Lynchburg’s website, lynchburgva.gov, the members of the City Council are the community’s decision makers.

“The Council also focuses on the community’s goals, major projects, and such long-term considerations as community growth, land use development, capital improvement plans, capital financing and strategic planning,” the website states.

Liberty encourages students to register and vote by making announcements during Convocation, providing registration forms for students and inviting candidates to speak with students and staff in order to provide awareness, according to Liberty’s website.

According to Milks, Liberty should continue to educate students on their civic responsibilities through the use of staff and resource materials that would enhance the registration initiative.

The City of Lynchburg receives citizen participation during the decision-making process for the City Council, according to the website.

“Because professional local government management offers government of the people, by the people and for the people, it sets the stage for citizen activism by encouraging open communication between citizens and their government,” the website states.

Liberty student Nathan Munson said he has registered to vote in the past and believes it is important for other students to register as well, because they are citizens of Lynchburg.

“I think we do have a voice in this city itself, because we are a big part of Lynchburg, and we should be at the forefront and making decisions and trying to get the best people in office,” Munson said. Lynchburg citizens vote for members of the City Council on even numbered years, according to The City of Lynchburg’s website. The Council has two regular meetings each month, which are broadcast live on Lynchburg Government Channel LTV 15.

Virginia voter registration forms can be picked up at the Dean of Students Office in Green Hall 1830, DeMoss Hall near the Career Center, or online at sbe.virginia.gov/forms.html.

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