Hartwick College Institute of Public Service Officially Launched on National Voter Registration Day

On September 19, National Voter Registration Day, Hartwick College President Darren Reisberg officially launched the Institute of Public Service, a nonpartisan political institute focused on strengthening democracy in our region.

 

“Our goal is to collaborate with local county and state governments as well as not-for-profits to develop solutions to challenges facing our region and to make our region an even better place to live, attend college and build a career. By having our young people more engaged with local government, they are also gaining valuable experience and developing the skills they need to be engaged citizens and public servants in their communities.”

Darren Reisberg

President

A Constitution Day Talk in the Anderson Theatre in the Anderson Center for the Art presented by New York State Assemblymember Jen Lunsford ‘04, D-135th Assembly District, was the highlight of the Hartwick College Institute of Public Service launch.

Hartwick College Institute of Public Service Constitution Day Talk delivered by Jen Lunsford '04, New York State Assemblymember for the 135th Assembly District
Hartwick College Institute of Public Service Constitution Day Talk delivered by Jen Lunsford '04, New York State Assemblymember for the 135th Assembly District
Hartwick College President Darren Reisberg at the launch of the Institute of Public Service with Jen Lunsford '04, New York State Assemblymember for the 135th Assembly District and Brian Miller
Hartwick College Institute of Public Service Constitution Day Talk delivered by Jen Lunsford '04, New York State Assemblymember for the 135th Assembly District

“Having this institute will help coordinate all of the resources that exist for Hartwick students, not just on campus, but off, through alumni networks and local community events. In turn, this amplifies the impact Hartwick can have engaging young people in the kind of public service that really matters to them.”

Jen Lunsford ‘04

New York State Assemblymember, D-135th Assembly District

Hartwick College Voter Registration in Dewar Union

Before the Constitution Day Talk, a five-week voter registration and education campaign kicked off outside the Commons, Hartwick’s main dining facility. Heading to lunch, students were greeted by the Institute of Public Service Co-Directors and Hartwick Professors Laurel Elder, Zachary McKenney and Matthew Chick. Last year, the group registered 149 voters during this time frame and helped over 100 students apply for absentee ballots.

“The formation of this Institute started with President Reisberg’s interest in this, as he was the inaugural Executive Director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. Another factor in getting this off the ground, is we all love doing voter registration, having debate parties and seeing students engaged in democracy, so it made perfect sense to bring it together and institutionalize it.”

Laurel Elder

Professor of Political Science

In addition to offering a range of public service internships, the Institute of Public Service has already lined up a number of events and programs, including a high school essay and video competition, hosting two local candidate forums, monthly meetings between Hartwick students and Oneonta Mayor Mark Drnek and Oneonta Common Council member Len Carson.

For more information about the institute, visit the website. Questions or ideas for strengthening democracy can be directed to instituteofpublicservice@hartwick.edu.

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