ELECTION 2016: Students Get Out the Student Vote
By Marisa Vinciguerra
As college students, we get wrapped up in classwork and college life and easily give little thought to voting or believing that our one vote matters. This election season, I and several students came together to remind the Moravian College Community that every vote counts and that we have a responsibility, a privilege, and an opportunity to have a say in who leads our government. As young people, who will be faced with solving the problems of the future, it is especially important to let our voices be heard.
Our nonpartisan election group consisted of members from United Student Government (USG), Black Student Union (BSU), Spectrum, American Association of University Women (AAUW), Political Awareness Coalition (PAC), the Middle Eastern Club, and Moravian College faculty. Together we registered about 150 students at our voter registration tables in the HUB and at certain campus events. Not only did we register first-time voters, we also helped students change their current registration address so they could, more conveniently, vote here at the college, or we supplied absentee ballot registrations.
Throughout the semester, we held debate watch parties, set up election information tables, sent emails, and circulated flyers explaining the importance of one’s vote. As a group, our goals were to inform students about how to register to vote, where to vote, and what to take to the polls. We acted out of nonpartisanship, never trying to sway students to vote one way or the other.
On Election Day, to encourage students, faculty, and staff to vote, we set up a table at the 1742 splotch outside the HUB, and, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and running every half hour up until 6:00 p.m., volunteers walked student voters to College Hill Moravian Church, near the seminary, to vote. We wanted to ensure that no detail, such as not knowing where to go, interfered with a person’s opportunity to make his or her voice heard.
Later, starting at 7 pm in the Pavilion in the HUB, we held a Watch Party where the community gathered to follow the election coverage displayed on a big screen, and we served food and drinks throughout the night. The room was filled with anxious excitement.
For many students, this was the first presidential election in which they could vote. For others, it was the first time they really took a stance on the policies raised by the candidates during their campaigns throughout the year. And while we have differences of opinion, it is important to remember that those differences do not divide us. We are all part of the Moravian College Community, which values “revolutionary ideas.” Our college is founded on one--the idea that all people need to be educated no matter gender, wealth, or status. As those who came before us understood, we must remember that our college supports inclusion, but inclusion does not mean we must agree on everything. We need to recognize that diversity in ideas can lead to intelligent and respectful conversations. When these conversations are had, we learn so much about each other and the world around us.
The Comenian is Back!
The Comenian staff invites you to visit the new online version of Moravian College's student-run newspaper. The staff has been working hard to design the website and to use our digital platform to publish news from all corners of the college community, from reports on visiting scholars and regular profiles of college faculty to opinion pieces and reviews of art shows. We welcome your feedback, ideas for stories, and, most importantly, your participation (we're in particular need of sports writers!), as we work to make The Comenian the go-to source of news on all things Moravian. Please join us at our weekly meetings, which are held every Thursday at 4:00 p.m. in Memorial 301.--Kaytlyn Gordon, editor-in-chief
A Tour of Our Trees
More than 70 students from Moravian Academy visited our college campus, as part of their science curriculum, to learn about several of the special trees in our tree inventory, including our national champion Scotch elm, which is the largest and very possibly oldest Scotch elm in the country. Randy Haffling, general services manager in the college’s facilities department, led the tree tour, which was the third annual visit by academy students.
In celebration of their 40th anniversary, the German Studies Association (GSA) in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University Press has produced a series of podcasts, which include interviews with GSA members (including our own Heikki Lempa, professor of history). You can access these podcasts here.
Writing Round Table Debuts
By Elias Saba ’17
On Thursday October 20th, 2016 Moravian College commemorated the National Day on Writing by holding a Writing Round Table in Prosser Auditorium. Facilitated by senior Chris Hassy and featuring professors from several disciplines”— Kevin Hartshorn, mathematics; Heikki Lempa, history; Kristen Baxter, art; Claudia Mesa, modern languages; Gary Kaskowitz, business; Chris Jones, biology; and Joel Nathan Rosen, sociology—the round table served to further increase students’ understanding what makes good writing. The round table was informed, in part, by Hassay’s research into bridging the gap between what faculty expect from their students’ writing and how students can more successfully meet those expectations.
Hassay’s questions inspired thoughtful remarks from the faculty. To the question “Are there any universals in writing among disciplines?” The panelists replied with a unanimous and resounding yes, pointing out that through writing we connect with an audience, and the writer must consider that audience carefully. And how does one become a better writer? As with any pursuit, the more you do it, the more masterful you will become.
“I’d say the event was a success,” remarks Hassay. “The conversation was interesting and valuable. But there is room for improvement: We need to make the National Day on Writing more visible on campus and bring even more students to the round table.” You can mark your calendar now for October 20, 2017, to attend the second annual Writing Round Table and hear what faculty have to share about how you can master this essential skill.
Moravian College Students in The Morning Call
Moravian College students who have been studying the environment in the Lehigh Gap Nature Center—750 acres of land contaminated with lead, cadmium, and zinc from the former Palmerton Zinc Factory—were cited in two stories in The Morning Call on the use of prescribed burns to help manage the contaminants. The first article appeared in April and the second ran in the November 1 edition of the newspaper.
“The data of some of our SOAR students showing that some trees, like the birch, were taking up the contaminants led to the idea of using prescribed burns as a management tool,” says Diane Husic, professor of biology and dean of the school of natural and health sciences. “The EPA approved the concept, which was piloted in 2013.”