No time off: Livingstone College administrators hold development fellowships aimed at voting

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 6, 2024

Livingstone College News Service

SALISBURY — The summertime gives many educational institutions around the nation a much-needed break from the academic school year; however, considering the importance of the upcoming presidential election, the Office of Student Affairs at Livingstone College is working through the time.

On May 30, the team assembled by associate vice president for student affairs Terri Stevenson, engaged in one of many professional development fellowships for employees to build collaborative efforts across campus and community relations.

Student affairs with the honors program, office of registrar, public safety, institutional advancement, communications, and spiritual and residence life convened at a minority-owned business to discuss the significance and construct a plan for complete campus-community participation.

“It is imperative to host staff development opportunities where we can engage in true dialogue relative to social responsibility and civic engagement,” Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Orlando Lewis said. “We are appreciative of sponsorship opportunities from organizations like Black Voters Matter, N.C. Common Cause, and Interfaith America. These vision-forward organizations support various entities and gives opportunity to execute that vision for a greater democracy.”

Considering Fleming Street Bakery & Southern Cuisine is owned and operated by Quinta Ellis, a member of Cedar Grove AME Zion Church and former Southeastern Region Chair for Young Adults in Christian Ministries, the venue had familiar ties to Livingstone College as an institution firmly supported by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

Dawned with delectable sandwiches and homemade chips, the team dined and dived in discursive musings missioned to “deepen and demonstrate levels of understanding that will produce intellectual and politically sophisticated student leaders,” as explained by assistant dean of students Bedford Roberts.

“We must train them,” Roberts said.

Campus counselor Dr. Rhonda Flowers-Corpening added, “Civic engagement, especially voting is not only essential to our democracy. It shows within the higher education arena, we can share similar spaces, find ways to bond, and foster rewarding opportunities outside the classroom.”

A special addition to Livingstone’s team is Chief Judge for West Ward 3 precinct, Rosalind Mitchell. Mitchell who guides the team in the do’s and don’ts of election policies.

“It is vital for students to engage in multiple aspects of the political process and they are aware of their rights as students and young adults,” Mitchell said. “Voting in America is one of the great legacies our forefathers and foremothers fought and died for so we could have this opportunity. We should vote in every election to keep our democracy intact.”

The campus waits for the arrival of student-leaders in August to begin and implement its plan while continuing its mission of training and developing holistic learners. In the meantime, the staff will continue to undergo development to strengthen the framework and invest in the stakeholders of democratic communities.