Eulalia Jace ’19 doesn’t need a megaphone to make her voice heard, but she’ll take one if it’s offered.
Inspired to attend the student-led March for Our Lives gun-control demonstration in Boston last spring, Jace organized a group of friends to go and found strength in herself in the process.
“I was yelling chants at the rally and then I realized that people were calling and responding to me and that was really empowering,” Jace recalled. “We ended up working side-by-side with this activist group that happened to be there and they gave us their megaphone for a while.”
Jace’s passion for advocacy and activism shines through at Lesley. As a new member of the Campus Activities Board (CAB) this year, she’s raising awareness about important issues pertaining to students, including voter registration in preparation for November’s midterm elections.
Along with fellow CAB board member Cassidy Donahue ’19, Jace is bringing the voting process to campus through registration events this fall in hopes of educating peers and getting the community involved.
“As students, we have a lot of priorities,” Jace said. “We have a lot of classes and school isn’t easy. There’s so much out there that makes the process overwhelming and with fake news it’s hard to know what’s real – but we can offer resources.”
Jace and Donahue are collaborating to ensure that their events are visible and accessible through creative promotions, including a mythical creature-themed photo shoot and social media campaign. As a member of CAB, Donahue has organized large-scale campus events such as carnivals and dances that draw crowds of 150-200 students, so she saw a natural opportunity to work together.
“Jace and I were talking over the summer and I said, ‘Listen, I think we can help each other out here,’” recalled Donahue. “I plan events that a lot of people come to and I figured that she can set up shop at those, do her thing and people will notice. You just have to find those opportunities.”
“To say that college students are not aware of the world is completely incorrect”
Jace and Donahue are attempting to break down barriers that might prevent students from voting or seeking out information in the first place. Weighing in on the perception that young voters might not think their individual ballot matters, Jace sympathizes.
“I’ve been there. I really have,” she said. “We all have crazy lives, we’re dealing with our own stuff, it’s easy to get caught up in what’s going on with yourself. I don’t mind talking to people about this process and why it matters.”
Jace points to social media as one of the reasons why students know what’s going on at Lesley and beyond.
“With social media, to say that college students are not aware of the world is completely incorrect,” Jace noted. “It’s not like we’re living in a bubble where we have to pick up a newspaper or get a telegram. We should be very aware of what’s going on because a lot of what’s on the ballot affects us.”
In order to make it as simple as possible for students to know the ballot questions and what they mean, Jace crafted a flier with a breakdown of the definitions, facts and figures behind each initiative. She’s particularly passionate about Question 3, the Gender Identity and Anti-Discrimination Veto Referendum.
“I’m really trying to push for Lesley to put their support behind this,” she said. “We have a relatively large trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming community here and no one should have to feel underrepresented, especially in college when you’re trying to find yourself.”
As Election Day approaches, students will have many opportunities to learn their options and register to vote. Each CAB event through mid-October will have voter forms and informative fliers, with Jace and Donahue spreading as much information to the community as they can.
“You have to get really creative with what you’re doing because you want people to pay attention and you want people to engage,” said Donahue. “What we’re doing together is all about reaching people.”
“I’m loud and I’m going to tell people how I feel and I mean that in the best way,” added Jace. “That is the kind of thing we need to have in order to keep the energy going.”