The Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning

Ginsberg is a vehicle for students to help serve the community. At times, college can feel limiting—as students, we learn about the world and we think about how we can change the world, but often it feels as if we have to wait until after college to start making a difference. Ginsberg allows students to use the skills they’re learning to improve the community now.

To me, low voter turnout is a serious issue at Michigan. People have a lot of things going on in their lives, and don’t always spend time thinking about politics. If they do care about politics, then maybe they don’t think their vote matters and so they don’t vote. And even when they do think their vote matters, complicated voting laws and requirements are a large obstacle that de-motivate students from voting. As the 2018 midterm election was approaching, I felt a need to address these issues and lower these obstacles for Michigan students. I joined the Ginsberg’s B1G Ten Voting Challenge team at the beginning of my senior year.

My work with the Ginsberg B1G Voting Challenge Team involves various non-partisan work promoting voting and political dialogue on campus. From holding discussions on the Diag, to creating infographics explaining the Michigan statewide ballot proposals, to helping register voters, the work has been eclectic and interesting.

Increasing voter accessibility is a social justice issue. The right to vote is a guarded principle in our democracy. But it’s more than an abstract principle—it’s an act that our citizens must undertake every couple of years, and throughout American history the right to vote has been unequal because of unequal accessibility. From access to information to overcoming legal obstacles, class, race, age, and gender have affected the right to vote. The fight to make voting easier and more accessible to new, young voters on campus is something I’m passionate about, and Ginsberg gave me the ability to make a difference.

Working with Ginsberg has taught me a lot. The team has allowed me to work on issues of interest to me and learn skills that I didn’t get in the classroom. This tangible work has complimented my classroom learning and helped me become a better community organizer. After I graduate in May, I plan on joining a 2020 Presidential campaign, and the skills Ginsberg has taught me will be valuable to my career.

I’ve learned a lot about Ginsberg since joining the team. The people are amazing. The work they do is important. And their passion helps them make a difference. In many aspects of social justice, from voting to literacy, Ginsberg is a significant force in improving the community.