ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — While we got through election day – Nazareth College says the conversation, and overall emotions are still ongoing among students. That’s why the college has a program NazVotes, to keep students engaged all throughout the election process – giving them a safe space to talk through their thoughts. That program is run through the Center for Civic Engagement.
Coordinator Jazzmyn Ivery-Robinson says in the days leading up to the election, they hosted virtual debate watch-parties, worked to inform students about voting rights, fact-checking and even offered transportation to polls. Now as the country waits for absentee ballots to get counted, the group is preparing to continue the dialogue among young students, even in the days after we know results.
Organizers say no matter the results, emotions are bound to be high and they want to be there for students to talk it out.
“It is just as important to have resources, and workshops prior to Election Day as well as after, we know it doesn’t matter who wins, just elections period can be overwhelming at times,” said Ivery-Robinson.
“Just being ready to be there for students when they will need us when this is done, it’s gonna be a lot for everybody not just students, faculty too, like everybody is affected by this. I’m looking forward to help with that for sure,” said Cameron Perez, graduate assistant for NazVotes.
“Everybody is like, this is too close for two dramatic sides so,” said Yahya Sellers, a NazVotes undergrad fellow. “Everybody is biting nails like this is too close for two dramatic sides.”
Director for civic engagement Nuala Boyle says it’s important to offer an environment where productive conversations can be had, even if viewpoints are opposing. “These are conversations people are shutting down about, not having, avoiding completely – that just snowballs, it doesn’t do any service so to be able to do this in college setting and promote analytical, critical thinking is important for our students,” she said.
The college also has a program through the interfaith center for students to come express emotions, participate in yoga. There are also extended hours at the counseling center for students dealing with election anxiety.