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Lafayette student organizations and administrators are joining forces to encourage and make it easy for all students to register and vote.

Initiatives include a special web site featuring links to voter registration sites, information on the elections, and the presidential candidates’ sites. The site is a collaboration of the registrar’s office, the office of the dean of students, the chaplain’s office, the department of government and law, and the Landis Community Outreach Center.

Efforts also include education and registration tables spearheaded by Student Government, the College Republicans Club, and the Kirby Government and Law Society.

During the week of September 25-29, Student Government will staff a table in the Landis Atrium of the Farinon College Center. The College Republicans and Kirby Government and Law Society have already registered about 200 voters and plan to set up another registration table before the Oct. 9 registration deadline.

The College Republicans’ plans also include a door-to-door campaign to register voters, distribution of flyers with information on voting locations, and telephone reminders to registered voters on election eve.

“We’ve started a steering committee with representation from various groups on campus to form an election series,” says Jen Gibbs, a junior government and law major from Chatham, Mass., is president of the Young Republican Club and the Kirby Government and Law Society. “We’re going to have a student debate in Colton Chapel October 30 and an Election Day party Nov. 7 in Kirby Hall. In the meantime, we’re doing voter registration and we’ll have a mock election. We have a lot of things planned for the next six weeks before the election.”

The Lafayette Activities Forum (LAF) is also planning events, says Tiffany Blakey, a senior American Studies major from Philadelphia, Pa., chair of LAF’s issues committee. These include a brown bag discussion with Democratic and Republican leaders in October. The chaplain’s office is also planning a series of brown bags.

The Landis Community Outreach Center, under whose auspices Lafayette students conduct more than 25 programs of sustained voluntary service each year, is distributing voter registration materials and information from its office in the Farinon Center.

Resident advisers are also posting flyers in residence halls to promote awareness.

The Brothers of Lafayette collaborated with the Rho Omicron chapter of Alphi Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans, to conduct a program called “A Voteless People is a Hopeless People” on Sept. 21, with representatives of the Republican and Democratic speaking and answering questions.

“A Voteless People is a Hopeless People,” with its focus on voter education and registration, has been a national program of Alpha Phi Alpha since the 1930s, when many African Americans had the right to vote but were prevented from voting because of poll taxes, threats of reprisal, and lack of education about the voting process, says the president of the Brothers of Lafayette, Landon Adams, a junior religion major from Columbus, Ohio.

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