Shepherd University students helping to get out the vote


SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — Politically-minded students at Shepherd University in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle are working to get you to the polls this fall.

Because of the coronavirus students at Shepherd were sent home abruptly in the spring semester. But with fall here, and strict social distancing protocols in place on campus, classes are earnestly back in session and students are following their passions. For the Young Democrats on campus that means getting to the polls. And for inspiration, their party’s nominee for the Second Congressional District paid a call on them during a campaign swing through the region.

“We need to be listening to the issues that they care about,” says Cathy Kunkel, Democratic nominee for Congress from the Second District. “And it’s really exciting. They are mobilizing so hard even in the midst of this pandemic to make sure young folks get to the polls by November.”

And while Kunkel’s campaign is focused on addressing climate change and affordable health care, she shares the views of these Shepherd University students that wherever one falls on the political spectrum, the important thing is to vote, regardless of your political stripe. Take Alyssa Nazarok, for instance. The New Jersey native is passionate about politics but she is leading her fellow Young Democrats to bridge the political divide.

“We’re looking for someone to be the president of the Young Republicans as well,” says Nazarok. “That way we can all work together for important civic projects like this.”

And Nazarok and her fellow students will be knocking on doors, engaging on social media, and making calls to be sure every eligible vote is cast with just 50 days until the general election.

Kunkel is running in the Second Congressional District which extends from the eastern panhandle across West Virginia, southwest to the Ohio River, and includes the state capital, Charleston.

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