A commitment to citizenship and civic engagement has been a critical element in the mission of Virginia Wesleyan University since its founding. A Virginia Wesleyan education moves students from emerging citizens to active citizenship. "Marlins Vote," the University's campus election engagement initiative, promotes a three-point program to featuring voter registration, issues education, and volunteer opportunities. This program goes beyond "get out the vote" efforts to include a variety of academic and social activities designed to encourage students and the broader campus community to become active participants in the electoral process at the local, state and national level.
As a small, private, liberal arts university with a diverse enrollment of approximately 1,400 students, Virginia Wesleyan is the ideal setting for a dynamic and respectful dialogue on civic matters and a unified, but non-partisan, resource on election matters. A planning team of students, faculty and staff members bring together each year related efforts from all corners of campus. The Office of Community Service serves as the catalyst for this initiative and creation of a broad discussion about developing an institutional approach to involving students in civic life.
"Citizen Bob" the University's designated civic mascot--AKA University mascot Bob Marlin doing his civic duty--encourages students and the broader Virginia Wesleyan community to get involved and make their voices heard! Here's how:
- Voter registration drives on campus and off
- Community debate watch parties on campus
- Election "pop-ups" and other special events election seasons
- Political speakers and presenters such as those that are part of the "What's at Stake: Election Series"
- Activities and presentations organized by the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom and The Lighthouse
- Student organizations such as College Republicans, Young Democrats, Marlins Vote, Black Student Union and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
- Academic opportunities through the political science, history and other departments
- Internships and job opportunities with local campaigns or civic organizations
For more information: The VWU Office of Community Service, the VWU Department of Political Science, the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom, The Lighthouse, the University Event Calendar, or the Virginia Department of Elections for voter registration and other guidelines.