Center for Politics Provides Opportunities for SUU Students

Published: November 03, 2011 | Read Time: 2 minutes

As the 2011 General Elections draw near, the Michael O. Leavitt Center, in conjunction with the Elections Assistance Commission in Washington, D.C., is proud to provide a unique opportunity to SUU students who will serve as poll workers in their native Utah counties on Election Day. A grant from the Election Assistance Commission, facilitated by the Leavitt Center, will cover travel costs and provide stipends to nearly 60 students, who will assist voters and election officials at various polling stations throughout Utah.

Associate Director of the Leavitt Center Jon McNaughtan believes that opportunities such as this are crucial because they spur young voters into action. “National data shows that college age students are one of the least likely demographics to vote. We are excited to be able offer students some employment and are also encouraged that this opportunity will help them to see the importance of public service, keeping them engaged for the rest of their life,” McNaughtan said.

As the Leavitt Center has grown, its ability to facilitate internships and provide other public service opportunities to the students of SUU has greatly increased. The center offers internships and other opportunities at the local, state and federal level, and all students are welcome to apply. Those interested are encouraged to visit the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service office, located near the Living Room in the Sharwan Smith Student Center.

Currently, two members of the center, Aimee Peterson and Brittney Park, are serving in the Washington, D.C. offices of Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, respectively.

Also of interest to students are the center’s weekly Pizza and Politics lunches, a public forum where prominent political figures discuss political issues and current events each Wednesday at noon. Former Republican Governor Olene Walker and State Democratic Chair Jim Dubakis are among this year’s guests.

Established in 1998, the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service is an important interdisciplinary hub for leadership opportunities, experiential learning, citizenship education and public policy research. The non-partisan center works to disseminate political information and spark debate about the ever-changing world of politics and the issues that impact the people of Utah.

For additional information about the poll worker program, contact Henrie Walton, grant assistant, at or 435-705-8115.

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