NYMC Students Encourage Voter Registration
When Rachel Thommen, School of Medicine (SOM) Class of 2024, arrived on campus, she wasted no time in getting involved in an issue of importance to her: voting and the political process.
She initially reached out to Anthony M. Sozzo, M.S.Ed., M.A., associate dean for student affairs and director of student financial planning and student activities, to see if New York Medical College (NYMC) had a voter registration club. Mr. Sozzo suggested creating a collaborative multi-club initiative to involve the leadership of various organizations at NYMC to help spread the word to register to vote. "Our goal is to simply encourage our peers, including those in the School of Medicine, Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences, School of Health Sciences and Practice and the Touro College of Dental Medicine, to register or re-register to vote, making sure their addresses and voting methods are up to date," explained Ms. Thommen. "It is an apolitical effort to make sure that our voices are heard in the upcoming elections by encouraging registration, voting early in-person or returning mail-in ballots at least two weeks prior to Election Day."
On Wednesday, September 16 and September 30, student volunteers will staff tables with iPads for online registration in any state and paper registration forms for Westchester County from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the corner of Sunshine Cottage Road and Old Farm Road. Leadership from several organizations and student chapters are involved including the American Medical Association, American Medical Student Association, American Medical Women’s Association, Gold Humanism Honor Society, Graduate Student Association, House of Representatives, LGBTQ Advocacy in Medicine, Latin Medical Student Association, Medical Students For Choice, NYMC Center for Human Rights, Student Accessibility Advocacy Network, SOM Student Senate, and Student National Medical Association, as well as several individuals.
Akshay Syal, SOM Class of 2021, is also spearheading an effort to get voter registration materials to patients at NYMC-affiliated clinics, hospitals and care centers. “Since initially reaching out to leaders across NYMC this initiative has really morphed into something greater than I had expected,” said Ms. Thommen.