NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

NECC is ‘All In” for election participation

As Election Day etches closer and closer, students and faculty at Northern Essex Community College continue to prepare for Nov. 3, despite the general absence of classes on Campus.

Although classes are almost completely online this semester numerous events have been prepared by student and faculty organizations to in order to increase student participation in the electoral proccess and better inform them on issues that’re important within this election cycle.

NECC’s Coordinator of Civic Engagement, Service-Learning, & Community Resources Janel D’Agata-Lynch, gave some insight into what is being done to help ensure students participate in this election without the aid of on-campus resources.

She explained how exactly the college is going about this she detailed the colleges participation in the ‘ ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge’ and it’s goals.

“ The general purpose of The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge is too increase student participation in the election. We work towards this by creating engagement plans and holding group sessions on campus to discuss the election and work on ways to better communicate to students how to register to vote. We also hold events virtually, which is newer this year with the pandemic,” she said.

She also explained the impact the COVID pandemic has had on the election cycle and how many events and plans had to be altered in order to continue through the numerous inconcviences caused as a result of the pandemic.

“In previous years we’ve had tables on campus for voting registration and have held forums on the candidates. We’d sometimes have primary Nacy 2 candidates visit the campus and speak to students and faculty,” she said.

Though most of these events weren’t able to take place this year, D’Agata- Lynch didn’t view the changes as wholy negative.

“In some ways it’s better because it’s easier for people to get access to events and opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise been been able to if they were all taking place in a physical medium,” she said.

D’Agata-Lynch also notes the variety of online resources being offered through the college that can help students better prepare to vote in their area.

A series of videos has also been prepared featuring students and faculty explaining the voting process and why it’s so important to participate in the election. A variety of important dates for both the Massachusetts and New Hampshire elections have also been provided.

Some students have also voiced their concerns in regards to the election cycle and the impact it might have on their local area.

When asked about the current election cycle, Paramedic Technology student Tyler Hamel gave some insight into what the typical student might be feeling right now as the election continues to create more and more tension and anxiety within the population.

“I try to stay informed and watch the news, but I really feel uneasy whenever I see anything about the election. I hated hearing all the commentary after the first debate and all the ‘best moments’ from it. It feels like people are taking this too lightly, so many people’s lives and well being are at stake right now and people are treating this like a joke,” Hamel said.

Hamel also talked about his concern regarding how the election results might impact his future and his career.

“Healthcare is really important right now and it’s really strange to see so many potential changes being talked about right now. I have no idea what my fields going to look like in the next five or ten years. It’s really something I like doing but I feel like a want some stability in my career. It’d be really devastating to go through all this training then find out it was all pointless in a few years,” he said.

This election has undoubtedly been highly emotional and induced greatly different feelings in each person it’s impacted, especially considering how many students lives may be directly effected on issues decided in the next month.

Both students and facualty are preparing the best they can even if their concerns are often so different from eachothers. Regardless of the tension, the Northern Essex Community continues to be cocerned and greatly involved in both the process and it’s outcome.