To engage new students in campus activities, Goshen College has traditionally held a “Club Day”  to showcase various campus-sponsored groups.

This Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Union will be home to a diverse venue of clubs ranging from Goshen Student Women’s Association to Arabic Middle Eastern Club to Entrepreneurship Club and, this year, both parties running in the election for mayor of Goshen.

Bill Born, vice president for student life, joined Student Senate to organize and register groups for participation. Born hopes the event will jumpstart student involvement.

“I hope students recognize that they are welcome to be a part of the community and take advantage of Goshen College’s opportunities,” said Born.

This year, students are receiving a direct invitation to get involved with the broader community and vote.

City of Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman and his Republican opponent Don Riegsecker will each have their own booths set up in the Union on Friday. Kauffman, Riegsecker and their student volunteers will be available to distribute campaign information and to encourage student voting.

For the candidates, getting students involved with the voting process takes priority over decisions regarding partisanship.

“When we are registering voters, it’s not about Democrat or Republican,” Mayor Kauffman said. “For a preliminary vote, you can vote one way or the other.”

Students who are Indiana residents or have a valid government-issued ID from the state will be able to register to vote at Friday’s Club Day. Out-of-state students also have opportunities to get involved with the political campaign. Along with volunteering to go door-to-door or make phone calls for a campaign team, the parties express the importance of student opinion.

“Every person's opinion is valuable when it comes to Goshen's issues and I want to know what the students are concerned about most in these economic times,” said Riegsecker.

The appearance of both candidates at Club Day serves to inform students about political policies and voting registration information. Riegsecker will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Union. Kauffman will appear at Club Day in between other events, with students taking shifts at the table as informants.

“We have a list of people who are from the Goshen area who are registered to vote and those that aren’t, and our main goal will be to remind people to vote if they can,” said student volunteer Hans Weaver. “Even if you don’t live in Goshen, use your absentee to vote in your home election to revive your hometown."

As of now, it is clear that both candidates intend to bring Goshen College students together with the community.

“Ultimately, the city and college both want what is best for Goshen and its residents,” said Riegsecker.

Kauffman echoed the sentiment.

“Goshen needs to be a welcoming and affirming place for young and old,” said Kauffman. “The influence of Goshen College over the years has been huge. If Goshen College wasn’t here, we wouldn’t be the community we are today.”

A more formal discussion of the candidates’ political views and intentions will occur at convocation on Oct. 8, one month before the election.