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The University’s ‘MSMU Votes’ initiative offers a series of events and public forums throughout the 2016 fall semester, designed to engage all members

‘MSMU Votes’ initiative engages students in the democratic process

At Mount Saint Mary’s University, our mission includes helping students use their knowledge and skills to better themselves, their communities and the world. This election season offers a prime opportunity to do just that — by providing resources, education and programming that enables students to embrace their role as active citizens. 

The University’s MSMU Votesinitiative offers a series of events and public forums throughout the fall semester, designed to engage all members of the Mount community in the democratic process. 

“Our goal is to make civic learning and democratic engagement a part of every student’s college education,” says Rosalyn Kempf, EdD, director of Women’s Leadership and Student Involvement. “We want every student to understand their voting rights and the democratic process. And we want the entire Mount community to join in conversations about issues that affect our families, our campuses and our nation at large.”

There are a number of ways the University is making this happen. For starters, Mount Saint Mary’s has once again joined National Voter Registration Day, on Sept. 27, the largest one-day effort to register voters in the United States. This marks the fourth consecutive year that L.A.’s women’s university has participated in this coordinated effort to create national awareness of voter registration opportunities.

On Sept. 27, voter registration drives will take place both at the University’s Chalon Campus in Brentwood and its Doheny Campus near downtown Los Angeles. The drive is sponsored by Women’s Leadership and Student Involvement, and includes student leaders from the Leadership Scholar Program and from each campus’ Student Government Association and Student Activities Councils.

The Mount also observed Constitution Day on Sept. 17, which commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. Students hosted campus events that created dialogue on Constitutional history and what it means to be an engaged citizen. Voter registration forms were also made available.

Mount Saint Mary’s has earned recognition for its democratic engagement efforts. Mount Saint Mary’s has been named a lead institution in NASPA’s initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement. And the Mount has pledged to join the national “Voter-Friendly Campus” NASPA initiative that helps students overcome barriers to participating in the political process. The University is also now part of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, a Civic Nation program that recognizes campuses committed to improving democratic engagement, increasing voter participation rates and graduating informed and active citizens. 

‘MSMU Votes’ events will continue through the rest of the school year, including highlights such as:

  • Presidential Debate Watch Parties (Sept. 26, Oct. 9 & Oct. 19)
  • Vice Presidential Debate Watch Party (Oct. 4)
  • California Voter Registration Drives (Through Oct. 24)
  • Mock Presidential Debate, presented by students in the University’s History and Political Science Department (Nov. 1)
  • ‘Pizza & Politics’ Election Night Coverage (Nov. 8)
  • ‘Election Post-Mortem’ Breakfast Conversation, presented by Jackie Filla, PhD, associate professor of political science (Nov. 10)
  • Inauguration Day Telecast (Jan. 20, 2017)
  • Ready to Run®, open-to-the-public, nonpartisan campaign-training for women, presented in partnership with the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (April 2017)

For more information about these initiatives, and for voting-related resources, visit the MSMU Votes website. Or contact Women’s Leadership & Student Involvement at or 310.954.4350.

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