The McCall Center for Civic Engagement (MCCE) is the resource center to help students with elections, voter registration, and anything else related to voting rights through one of their programs called Pacific Votes.
Morgan Knapp, the Program Coordinator for the MCCE, advocates for all students to have a reliable space for them to turn to get more information on any elections and voting resources, welcoming everyone from out of state students to international students.
“We work to provide Pacific students with the resources, the education, and the inspiration that they need to participate in the formal political process,” said Knapp, “Including the obvious one which is voting.”
The MCCE is a non-partisan center, meaning that they will never tell students how two vote but instead help them find the resources necessary to accommodate their own values and what elected officials reflect their personal views. The Pacific Votes program kicks off the year with Voter Registration Week, which is Sept. 25 through Oct. 3. They then move on to voter education, teaching students the process of voting and making sure they have a plan for the little things, like where to get a stamp and where the nearest ballot drop off location (it’s right across Pacific Ave in front of the Forest Grove City Library.)
All Pacific students vote by mail because Oregon has adopted the fully vote by mail process. However, all university students in the state of Oregon, including out of state students, have the option of either voting in their home state or in Oregon because of the state’s voter friendly regulations.
Last year during the Presidential election Pacific was working on a hybrid model. The MCCE began a new program called The Pacific Pledge, which helped them reach students easier to register to vote and offer individual help if needed.
“Tell us what you want to do, where you want to vote, and we’ll get you just the information that you need to do [so],” said Knapp.
The MCCE is located in lower Scott Hall, right in the middle between the CLIC and the SMC. They have a large student staff that have their office hours posted outside their door, so students know when they can come in for some questions.
“I think that there are a lot of forces at work right now to tell people that their vote doesn’t matter [or] that they don’t know enough to cast a vote. It’s super damaging. I believe completely the opposite,” said Knapp when referring to the importance of people exercising their right to vote. “I think that it is a fundamental first step towards claiming your place in a community.” — Ashley Meza
Ashley Meza was born and raised in Portland and is a senior studying journalism. She is currently the student life section editor and hosts the Index Podcast. She holds the DACA Coordinator position at the Student Multicultural Center and enjoys making short films in her free time.