J&C Students and Voter Registration

Term professor Marsha Olson taught several sections of COMM 111 Fundamentals of Oral Communication at UAA during the spring 2016 semester. She involved her students in voter registration activities to address three core areas of the course: interpersonal communication, small group communication and public speaking.

In addition to learning the basics of oral communication, students learned how to help people register to vote using the online registration process at the Alaska Division of Elections. Olson’s students staffed voter registration tables on campus during one day in March. Each student group planned their approaches with written materials and well-developed pitches to passing students.

The students registered 60 people, and approximately 25 people took hard-copy registration forms to complete and mail. Additionally, approximately 30 students in the COMM 111 classes registered as a result of this project. Many students, including some from rural Alaska, learned about the absentee voting process through these activities.

Olson has received a mini-grant through the Center for Community Engagement Learning for the fall semester to further develop this effort.