FPU focuses on first-time voters

  • Niklas Lavdahn, a freshman from Germany, and Jadel Poon-Lewis, a freshman from Trinidad and Tobago, talked to campaign representatives and candidates during an observation of Constitution Day at Franklin Pierce University on Monday. Staff photo by Abby Kessler

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/19/2016 7:15:03 PM

A step back in time prompted discussion about the current political landscape Monday afternoon at Franklin Pierce University.

In observance of Constitution Day or Citizenship Day – which recognizes the adoption of the document on Sept. 17, 1787, as well as immigrants who have become U.S. citizens – various campaign staffers and candidates engaged in conversation with students about important issues in the upcoming general election.

This year, Sept. 17 fell on a Saturday, which meant the university pushed back its annual event until Monday.

Dr. Kristen Nevious, director of the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication, which hosts the event every year, said the meet-and-greet format is a great way to promote first-time voters to head out to the polls in November.

“We believe that one of the most important rights, or responsibilities that citizens have is to make informed decisions at the polls,” Nevious said. “This just seems perfect to do for our students.”

Niklas Lavdahn, a freshman from Germany, and Jadel Poon-Lewis, a freshman from Trinidad and Tobago, weaved their way through the tables scattered with campaign signs and brochures Monday afternoon. Although neither student is a U.S. citizen and therefore will not be able to vote this November, both said they were very interested in the country’s political process.

“This is our home for the next four years so I think we need to inform ourselves about what’s going on here,” Lavdahn said. “Even though we can’t vote, we can take part in all of the discussions going on, especially discussions with our friends and that’s really important.”

Abby Kessler can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 234 or akessler@ledgertranscript.com.

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