The Catalyst

Social Action: Voter ID

St. Cloud State University MSW students have decided to take on a more active approach in their policy courses due to the Voter ID Amendment being passed into the hands of Minnesota citizens.  Come November, Minnesota constituents will have to decide if they want Voter ID to be a Constitutional Amendment, creating an entirely new ballot scheme by voting yes or no on the 2012 ballot.

Both the first and second year MSW students of Dr. Lake Dziengel’s Policy courses, SW621 and SW642, pooled resources to table booths on campus to educate their fellow peers and community members in relation to the controversial bill surrounding Voter ID.  The first booth, staffed by Dr. Dziengel and MSW students Jen Czischke, Jenny Jenson, Brenda Hoffman and Diana Meaden, was held April 19th from 9am-11am in Atwood Memorial Center’s Ballroom during the spring 2012 "Community Engagement Celebration".  This event was a showcasing for classes, internships, or students interested in illustrating their community involvement.  The MSW students, who presented themselves as Social Work Advocacy Group (SWAG) for the event, took home the award for "Most Unique Project".  Diana Meaden, a second year MSW student, described the event as, "exciting but a little nerve wracking because it was the first time we have participated in the Community Engagement Celebration."  Her fellow classmate, Jenny Jenson, explained how, "It ended up being really rewarding, because we were not there to promote our group or ourselves.  We were there to educate and bring awareness."   

The following tabling was scheduled for Wednesday, April 25th from 12p-5p, with tables set up in the main walkways of Atwood Memorial Center and Centennial Hall.   Dr. Dziengel stated, "Students kept track of how many people stopped by the tables, and did a short evaluation with people to assess understanding of the Voter ID amendment.  It is estimated that 200 people received material and/or stopped to ask questions related to voting rights in MN . . . including our new interim Dean Devers (at the Community Engagement Celebration) ".  The students gave away handouts with their gathered data as well as had a fun, enlightening game for community members to win prizes when guessing correct facts about Voter ID.  The students described their main goal as persuading people to think critically about what the passing of this bill could mean, and how a state that continuously leads the nation in voter turnout could be affected.

To view non-partisan information on Voter ID and other policies visit: http://www.inet7.lwvmn.org/

Click on this link to view Governor Mark Dayton’s veto letter regarding Voter ID: http://www.scribd.com/doc/88585269/4-9-12-Voter-ID

 

 

 

 

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