In a resounding display of civic engagement, the University of Mary Washington community turned out for Day on Democracy. Student volunteers and members of the University’s faculty and staff rallied over 160 students to the polls at Fredericksburg’s Dorothy Hart Community Center on Election Day.
Throughout the day, various activities kept the campus buzzing with democratic fervor. The UMW Votes team, stationed at the Bell Tower from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., played a crucial role in informing and assisting students on ballot races and same-day voter registration, and the Fredericksburg Trolley provided rides to the polls. The day was punctuated by a puppy petting party, hosted by Old Dominion Humane Society, as well as free donuts, pizza and taco bowls.
A testament to UMW’s commitment to nurturing active and informed citizens, the day encouraged student participation in democracy and fostered a sense of community and shared responsibility.
“It’s great to see so many students getting excited about voting,” said Center for Community Engagement Director Sarah Dewees. “Many of the students who stopped by the table were first-time voters and are learning the habits of engaged citizenship.”
The event also garnered praise from students.
Kaylah Lightfoot, secretary of UMW’s NAACP Chapter, highlighted the importance of voting to recognize history and empower the future. So did Tonia Attie, co-president and founder of UMW’s chapter of Day on Democracy.
“It’s a day for students to celebrate democracy and carry out their civic duty,” Attie said. “All the change you want to see in the world starts with one vote.”