Stuart Baum, a Junior at Wayne State University, is a student leader active in advancing civic engagement on campus by advocating for policy reform and voter access. Through his roles with the Student Senate as the Director of Government Affairs and now as President, Stuart has led a number of initiatives that have motivated students to become civically involved.
For the last two years, he organized a student coalition of nearly 100 students to join our Division of Government Affairs for an advocacy day in Lansing, Michigan to lobby state legislators for more equitable higher education funding. He also organized voter registration drives with the Michigan Secretary of State Mobile Office to overcome the mail-in registration absentee voter barrier to student voting.
Stuart is currently working with numerous on-campus divisions, the student body, Detroit City Council, and the Detroit City Clerk to establish an on-campus polling location at the University.
As I came of age and became more civically aware, I sought to help my peers become more active and knowledgeable citizens as well. I started working toward this goal in high school by organizing voter registration drives and hosting voter education events. I continued this work at a greater scale when I arrived at Wayne State University. Through my voter engagement work, I realized that the insidious levels of voter apathy among my generation can in part be attributed to the obstacles students face that prevent them from making their voice heard, as well as the perception that their voice doesn't count. In an effort to help empower my peers to make their voices heard and to get more civically engaged, I have worked to counter both factors that contribute to their disengagement. In order to make it easier for my peers to vote, I have worked to establish an election polling location right at the heart of campus. As the President of our student government, I have sought to ensure that the voice of students is well represented and heard in every facet of university governance, while also working on initiatives that respond to the needs of students.