Staff Editorial

Lawrence’s campus is divided into three voting districts. Voters in those areas are assigned to Edison Elementary, Riverview Evangelical Lutheran Church and School and Columbus Elementary. Campus Life and several student organizations planned events and campaigns with the intention of aiding and informing eligible Lawrentian voters. On the day of the election, university shuttles provided transportation for students to the polling locations.
We appreciate the efforts of the university to facilitate voting as a practice in light of the complex district boundaries affecting our campus. However, voting as a practice is inherently reinforced by and a partner to an education in civic engagement on the whole.
Students at Lawrence are encouraged to think critically and consider the role they will play in fostering relations between members of diverse communities, local or global – yet there are no course offerings in civics. The mission statement of Lawrence claims that the university “prepares students for lives of achievement, responsible and meaningful citizenship, lifelong learning, and personal fulfillment.”
Lawrence’s academic and co-curricular environment is already ripe for a civic addition to the curriculum. Such an addition would be complementary to Lawrence’s current aims to cultivate creativity among leaders. Additionally, as newly eligible voters, most students upon arrival at Lawrence are well-positioned to learn about the role of voting and civic engagement beyond the electoral process.
We hope that when students graduate from this institution, they are experienced not only in actively engaging in their community and government, but consciously determining by what means and to what ends they do so.
While the recent work by faculty, staff and students to get voters to the polls is appreciated, we hope to see corresponding, permanent and comprehensive changes to the curriculum that reflect Lawrence’s objective to advance a civically educated student body.