News Students Take Advantage of Politically Focused Activities
A Hawks in Flight Feature
Many students come to Hartwick because they want to change the world.
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, they got their chance – by casting their votes in the 2022 midterm elections.
Following a successful voter registration drive that saw 146 students register to vote in Oneonta, the Office of Civic Engagement sponsored vans that drove students – and one Guiding Eyes for the Blind dog – to the polls at Foothills.
Many of the students who went to the polls were voting for the first time, reported Alex Douglas, coordinator of Civic Engagement, who drove the shuttle back and forth all day on Election Day.
To get students informed ahead of the election, the College and the League of Women Voters of the Oneonta Area hosted a debate between NY-122 Assembly candidate Dan Buttermann (Democrat) and Colton Mennig (Working Families) on Wednesday, Nov. 2.
“Getting students to register was only half the battle,” said sociology Professor Zachary McKenney. “We had to get them informed on the issues, and then get them to the polling place.”
Republican candidate Brian Miller declined to participate.
Students were active in the debate, asking questions and meeting with the candidates after the forum.
“We had a great turnout,” said McKenney. “Not just students and faculty, but the community as well.”
“The debate hosted by the Political Science department was transformative and impactful,” said Thomas Carlon ’25, who asked the candidates about gun control. “I was impressed by the honesty and in-depth responses of the candidates. They were genuine, informed, and truly cared about the issue at hand.”
And when students got back from the polls, they could grab a donut and cider at the “Donuts and Democracy” event, then snap a selfie with “I Voted” signs.
“It was so empowering to cast that vote,” said Carlon, who helped organize the Democracy and Donuts event. “I was voting with knowledge and perspective that enabled me to be an advocate for progress.”
“I’m thrilled to see our students learning about and actively engaging with various parts of the political process, from voter registration to working on campaigns to hosting a candidate debate,” said President Darren Reisberg, who gave the opening remarks at the debate. “By doing so, they are exploring firsthand different careers in politics and public service. That’s what FlightPath at Hartwick is all about.”