Given their active presence on campus, you wouldn’t know that the Bates College Planned Parenthood Generation Action club was only started a few months ago. From the beginning of the semester until now, current club leaders Nina Moscowitz (2020), Analea Angot (2020), and Diana Flores (2020) have worked to integrate this nationwide college campus movement into the Bates community. Though the burgeoning reproductive rights club has many ideas for the future of Bates students’ reproductive health, safety, and well-being, they have been focusing their current energy on the election and Get Out The Vote.

As members have been actively working to better the Bates community, the club stands out as a wonderful and impactful alliance on campus. Planned Parenthood Gen Action members have been working to motivate and transport students to the polls, and convened on Thursday afternoon to phone bank to alert Bates students about their efforts to organize and provide rides to and from the polls. In addition, the club has been tabling to educate the campus community about candidates and has canvassed on weekends in and around Lewiston.

Last Thursday, Planned Parenthood Gen Action members phone banked, for which they met at the Ronj and enjoyed the rainy evening by calling and texting classmates, close-friends, and peers to urge them to vote. During the phone bank, club members also informed students of the multiple options to get to and from the polls. As a member of the club, I can attest to the heartwarming atmosphere of the initiative. Spending the afternoon working to get students to vote was invigorating. Also, as a student without a car myself, I can see how transportation could be a hindrance to voting, especially when factors such as school, work, and extracurriculars are also in the mix. Sitting in the Purple Room at the Ronj, eating Halloween candy, and talking to fellow members of the Bates community on the phone and over text to aid them in finding time amidst their busy class schedules to vote was such an inspiring experience.

Voting is so important, especially in today’s political climate: it is a chance to not just voice your opinions, but make your voice count. Every vote counts, and every voice counts. Exercising your right to vote is an amazing experience that should not be cast aside or belittled, even when getting to the polls might seem like a drag. Planned Parenthood Generation Action is making voting for Bates students easy. I encourage everyone to get down to the polls to vote and volunteer with Planned Parenthood Generation Action to help others do so as well!

The group has volunteers driving people to the polls on Election Day every hour and met at the Fireplace Lounge in Commons. For more information on getting involved with the club contact me, Pippin Evarts, at pevarts@bates.edu.