Lucy Jones, a third year student at Elon University, is invested in addressing issues of voter participation and civic engagement among college students and throughout communities. As a member of the Elon Political Engagement Work Group, she collaborates with other students, faculty, and staff to improve political awareness and civic engagement on Elon's campus. Lucy provides support as the Volunteer Coordinator of Elon Votes!, a non-partisan organization committed to raising levels of voter participation among college aged individuals, and assists in the planning of voter registration initiatives and events, election night watch parties, and discussion forums. Additionally, as the student coordinator for Deliberative Dialogues, a discussion based event that takes place once a semester, Lucy strives to engage Elon students and the Burlington community in conversations across political divides. In the first Deliberative Dialogue on Elon's campus to have participation from the local community, Lucy recruited leaders of non-profits such as United Way, advocacy groups such as DownHomeNC, and elected officials such as county commissioners, to engage with students and faculty. The presence of these individuals allowed Elon students to listen and learn from those working directly with the issues being discussed, and grow in their ability to communicate with one another, as well as their knowledge of the issue. Lucy believes that we have a responsibility to engage with each other in respectful and productive ways, and intends to continue furthering that goal on campus.
I have always been enthralled by civic engagement, and was lucky enough to have teachers who fostered in me a belief that we all have a role to play in creating the world we live in. I believe that the best way to make change is through the political process, a process that can only function effectively if the people who care participate. My generation is passionate, motivated, and dedicated to our future, and I know that given the tools, we have the ability to shape our society into one that truly reflects the ideals of our country. This is why I have spent my time in college encouraging and enabling my peers to be civically engaged. Every vote, every call to a representative, every conversation that begins with a shared aim of improving our world, is a step towards a better future. The conversations that can seem the most uncomfortable, are often the ones worth having. I am proud to be part of a community that doesn't shy away from challenging questions, but allows me to learn, alongside others, the best way we can co-create our world.