Mary Baldwin University PSA aims to get students excited about voting

Mary Baldwin University PSA aims to get students excited about voting

STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - Mary Baldwin University in Staunton is trying to get students excited about voting.

The Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement is focused on encouraging students to be involved citizens. One way to do that is at the polls.

“I vote because I have hopes for a better future,” says one voice in the PSA. “If we don’t tell people what matters, they’re never going to know,” says another.

Theatre professor Brian Granger had the idea while thinking about how he could encourage students' engagement in the democratic process.

“Well, I mean I am in theatre,” laughed Granger. “And you know, I immediately thought of a PSA.”

Granger invited students and faculty to talk about why voting matters to them.

“I feel as though it would almost be disrespectful to not exercise the privilege that so many people have fought and died for,” says a voice in the PSA.

“It’s not a political campaign video. It’s a PSA, so keep it positive,” stated Granger. “You know, no names just focus on issues and talk personally about what you value.”

Granger says he was impressed with how honestly students spoke.

“I vote for my great grandmother who sat in. I vote for my great grandfather who couldn’t vote. I vote for the people who can’t. I try to give a voice to the people that are unheard. That’s why I vote,” said another voice featured in the PSA.

Spencer Center Director Christina Harrison says the initiative to vote is really to empower students.

“To be involved citizens, to be engaged, to contribute to their communities, to use their voice,” said Harrison.

But also, to let students know that faculty and staff can help with the often overwhelming process for new voters.

“All of them, almost all of them have registered as far from what we can tell,” said Harrison. “But from that point on it gets a little bit confusing.”

“There are certain things that I believe need to be fought for,” says a voice in the PSA. “So, whenever I vote, that’s my way of fighting for that.”

“It moves people. It moves the audience to hear that. And I think triggers a desire to do the same,” stated Harrison.

Saturday is the last day for in-person early voting before the polls open on election day Tuesday.

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