From the President: Political campaign activities on campus

American flags
(DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)
Throughout our history, and even today in other parts of the world, presidential elections or even the right to vote were rights not extended to the broader population. 

I personally did not always have the ability to vote. As undergraduates at the University of the Philippines, Jo and I lived under martial law. During the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, there was no presidential election for 12 years. 

It is with this history in mind that I am asking DePaul University students, faculty and staff to take the time and exercise your important right to vote in the upcoming election on Tuesday, Nov. 6. 

Early voting in Chicago begins on Thursday, Sept. 27, and we anticipate that the Chicago Public Library branch at 1150 W. Fullerton will once again be a polling place.

In Illinois, voters will determine who represents them in the U.S. House of Representatives, who the Governor will be, as well as choose state constitutional offices and members of the General Assembly. The results of these elections will shape our future in many ways. 

Given all that is at stake, on all sides of the political landscape, I urge you to register to vote, to educate yourself on issues that matter to you and your future, and most importantly, to vote for candidates you believe in. I also ask that you respect the views of others, especially those with whom you disagree. 

As the campaign season heats up, I further ask that you be mindful of DePaul’s policies on political campaign activities. These are designed to foster civic participation, while protecting DePaul’s nonpartisan position.  It is important to keep them in mind to avoid the appearance that DePaul is engaged in inappropriate partisan campaign activity.  These policies can be found online at the University Policies & Procedures page (please access using your Campus Connection login and password).

DePaul students who need to register to vote are encouraged to use TurboVote. Sign up for TurboVote, and you will receive a completed registration form with a pre-addressed stamped envelope, making registering to vote as simple as signing a form, sealing an envelope and mailing it in. You may be able to register online, depending on your home state residency. You can also sign up for TurboVote to receive text and email reminders so you will never miss an election.

If you live in Chicago, you can register to vote or check the status of your registration here. (And, yes, I am now registered to vote in Cook County.) 

If you live outside Chicago in Cook County, you can find more info here, and for other residents in Illinois, the State Board of Elections voter registration page is here. Deadlines for registration vary, so please check the proper site for information about dates. If you have moved since the last election, it is important that you re-register at your current address.

The right to vote is a great responsibility. We owe it to ourselves and to each other to take this right seriously and solemnly. I speak from experience when I say there are millions of people across the world who do not have this right but desperately want and need it. I urge you not to take it for granted.

Thank you.