Page, left, with the 2,000th registered voter on campus, Dean Ecklund.
Name: Page Keating
Major: Biology and Anthropology
Hometown: New Rochelle, NY
Page: “A friend told me of the opportunity to apply to an Ambassador position with the Foundation at Stony Brook while I was studying abroad the spring of my sophomore year. I was asked to be interviewed upon my return by Ellen Driscoll, Assistant Dean of Students, and Steven Adelson, a senior at the time that brought the Foundation to Stony Brook University. Steven Adelson and I were the first ambassadors for Stony Brook and started immediately with freshman orientation, registering over 1,700 students that summer. In August, we met with 30 other ambassadors from all over the country to talk about civic engagement on campus and how we can help fellow students prepare to help our world be better.”What is the background of the Andrew Goodman Foundation?
“At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Andrew (Andy) Goodman joined Freedom Summer ’64 to register African-Americans to vote. On Andy’s first day in Mississippi, he and two other civil rights workers, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan. The story of these three young men struck a public chord that galvanized support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”- Andrew Goodman Foundation
Page: “Andrew Goodman’s Family started the foundation to encourage young people to vote and make their voices heard. They celebrate local leaders and community changers through the Hidden Hero Awards, and college students through the Vote Everywhere Program.”
How many students have you registered so far and why does that matter?
Page: “We have registered a little over 2,900 since July 2016, and approximately 6,400 students since we started in July 2015. It is super important because it allows students to vote and for many it will be the first time they are able to exercise their right to vote. It also encourages students to start thinking how they factor into their communities and how they have an impact on where they live and the people in their communities. College is a time to figure out your place in society learn skills to make your community better, one of the most important ways to change something is to be civically engaged.”
Page, top left, at the Andy Goodman Foundation Ambassador Retreat
What do you think is at stake for these upcoming presidential and local elections for college students?
Page: “Students that live on campus or locally will be voting for a President, Senator and Congressional representative. All these elections will be vital to shaping the America that most students will be entering when leaving Stony Brook, whether it will influence their student loans, the job market, the deteriorating infrastructure or a plethora of issues that affects everyone. Every vote will be vital to determining the outcome of the election. It may seem like your vote will not count, but your vote will be your voice.”
What would you tell you someone who feels that their vote does not count?
Page: “There are a lot of ways your vote counts from the national level to the local level. There was a position up for election in Orange County in Fall 2015, and the winner won by two votes. Two of my friends voted in that election with absentee ballots, and their voices were the deciding votes. It is examples like this that should encourage people to understand the importance of their vote in who they want to represent their voice. I also have a philosophy that people cannot complain about what is going on in this country if they have never voted.”Where can Seawolves register to vote?
Page: “Vote Everywhere will be tabling in the SAC next week, Monday (10/10) through Thursday(10/13) from 10am to at least 5pm because the deadline for voter registration is October 14th. Any questions about civic engagement, voter registration and how to get involved, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org and stonybrook.edu/vote! To learn more about Andrew Goodman and the Foundation, you can visit andrewgoodman.org.”