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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

ACC Elections Policy Center Informing Voters

When it comes to municipal elections, only a fraction of voters in Brazoria County turnout to cast their ballots.

Hoping to increase voter participation as well as inform them about what’s on the ballot, Alvin Community College faculty and staff members created the Election and Policy Center with a $1,000 Innovative Initiative Grant from the ACC Foundation.

“Only 7 percent of registered voters in Brazoria County came to the polls during the May elections,” Communications Coordinator John Tompkins said. “That means out of every 100 voters, only seven decided who would be on city councils, the school boards or other government entities.”

The Innovative Initiative Grants are designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize and reward innovative and creative approaches to fulfill the mission of Alvin Community College. The grants will be used for the 2014-15 academic year. The Foundation began issuing the grants in 2012.

The Elections and Policy Center will use the Innovative Initiative Grant for printing costs for a voter guide that will be distributed throughout Brazoria County. The guides will include information about all of the candidates in the May and November elections including their hometown, public service experience as well as the position’s term length and pay.

“In addition, they will find out the goals of the candidates who are running," Government instructor Elizabeth McLane said. "Voters also can learn about local offices and what their functions are.”

The grant will also fund two stipends for students who will compile the candidate questionnaires for the voting guide.

Alongside the candidate information, students from ACC Government courses will also submit research papers on elections and public policies that will be published in the guides.

“Having students participate with the publication gives them valuable experience with local officials and education about the formation of public policies whether it’s a tax investment zone proposal or a city charter amendment,” Tompkins said.

Non-partisan voting guides are often available with information on state and national elections. Providing a local election guide will hopefully spur voter interest in their city, county and school board races, Tompkins said.

“Our local governments provide many services to constituents,” he said. “And it’s important for those constituents to know as much as they can about the candidates in their local races.”

In addition to the guides, the Election and Policy Center will help sponsor public events that will include candidate forums and guest speakers.

For more information about the center, please call 281-756-3551 or e-mail jtompkins@alvincollege.edu.

Campus Events Calendar

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9/9/2014

September 9, 2014

The Office of Student Activities will host an informational session on September 9 at 12:30 p.m. on its upcoming program called Dolphins Lead, which will teach students leadership skills. For more information call 281-756-3688.

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9/10/2014

September 10, 2014

The ACC Student Government Association will have its first meeting of the school year on September 10 at 12:30 p.m. in the Texas Room. For more information call 281-756-3688.

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9/11/2014

September 11, 2014

The Texas Gulf Coast Blood Center will host a blood drive on September 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Texas Room. The drive is open to all donors in the community. For more information call 281-756-3688.

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9/13/2014

September 13, 2014

Area students will be treated to a free lunch along with guest speakers that will share tips on becoming effective leaders at the annual Student Leadership Conference on September 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Guest speaker will be Andy Stoll. For more information call 281-756-3688.

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9/15/2014

September 15, 2014

The Texas Gulf Coast Blood Center will host a blood drive on September 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Texas Room. The drive is open to all donors in the community. For more information call 281-756-3688.

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9/17/2014

September 17, 2014

Students will learn about the legislative process during the annual Constitution Day event on September 17 at 11 a.m. in the Texas Room. For more information call 281-756-3688.

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9/22/2014

September 22, 2014

Registration for the second, eight-week fall mini semester will open on September 22 and close on October 16. Classes will begin on October 20. For more information call 281-756-3500.

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9/25/2014

September 25, 2014

The ACC Board of Regents will have their monthly meeting on September 25 at 7 p.m. in the Nolan Ryan Center. Call 281-756-3500 for more information.

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9/29/2014

September 29, 2014

The Fine Arts Gallery will host an exhibit of the works of William Jones from September 29 to October 24. There will be a reception on October 1 in the Fine Arts Gallery. For more information call 281-756-3605.

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10/1/2014

October 1, 2014

The Student Government Association will have its monthly meeting on October 1 at 12:30 p.m. in the Texas Room. Call 281-756-3686 for more information.

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