Abby Dennis, a second-year student at Middlebury College, is a student leader working for a more engaged and safe community. She serves as the student leader for MiddVote, an initiative through the Middlebury College Center for Community Engagement that works to increase civic engagement and voter participation in the Middlebury community. Through MiddVote, she helped students register to vote and access absentee ballots by holding frequent voter registration drives all across campus, including a special event on National Voter Registration Day. Throughout the fall, Abby worked to emphasize the importance of voting through initiatives and events both on campus and in the greater Middlebury community, and on election day she helped provide shuttles to the polls and organized a community celebration to celebrate voting and civic engagement. Abby is also working to increase safety and inclusivity on Middlebury's campus through her role on the Student Government Sexual and Relationship Respect Committee. Since joining this committee in her first semester at Middlebury, she has worked to create and promote student initiatives that address sexual and dating misconduct, support survivors of sexual violence, and increase sexual education and resources on campus.
When I was growing up, my mom always emphasized the importance of voting and participating in government. As I got older, I learned that voting is not always easy. In the United States today, we still have many structural barriers and policies that rob people and communities of their right to vote and make their voices heard. I believe that the more people that vote and are engaged in politics, the more we can build a political system that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and privileged. Because I believe that helping more people exercise their right to vote will help us build a better, more equitable nation, I have been working hard at Middlebury to get people registered to vote and increase our voter participation. I love talking to students and community members about voting, and I am excited to continue this work throughout my time as a student and beyond.