The Blue Devil is in the Details: Duke Students Lead Effort against NC Amendment
April 25, 2012 by Marty Rouse, National Field Director
As HRC’s National Field Director, I was thrilled to be in North Carolina this week participating in a number of campaign events aimed at defeating Amendment One. Nowhere was there more energy and organization that at Duke University, where student leader Jacob Tobia and others in Duke Together Against Constitutional Discrimination have set the bar incredibly high for outstanding work against Amendment One. Polls have already opened and the final day to vote is May 8. If Duke students are any indication about where this country is headed, and how this vote will go down, we can all be proud and encouraged by their depth of commitment to fairness and equality and the extraordinary organizing skills that will help us defeat this hateful amendment in North Carolina.
Here is just some of what this amazing group has accomplished in voter mobilization:
- Secured a one-stop early voting site on campus so that students can vote in the election.
- Operated a phone banking operation that reached about 600 first-year students.
- Coordinated students to volunteer at the polls with the 3 Hours 2 Defeat Amendment 1: The 3-2-1 Campaign, and successfully secured volunteers to work at the polls during the entire early voting period. See the Facebook event for information.
- Duke Together, in conjunction with Duke Political Union, Duke Democrats, and Duke Student Government worked to allocate $4,000 for non-partisan get-out-the-vote promotional materials, including posters, banners, postcards, and stickers.
Duke Together has been working for months on institutional advocacy and coalition building as well, generating the following statements and resolutions against Amendment One:
- Duke Student Government unanimously passed a resolution opposing Amendment One.
- Duke College Republicans, Duke Democrats, and Blue Devils United issued a joint statement against Amendment One.
- Duke University and Duke Hospital issued a joint statement opposing Amendment One.
- Duke Together partnered with Duke Student Government to feature Amendment One in elections for DSG President and other DSG elections.
- Duke Together secured a grant from the Global Changemakers program to fight Amendment One which allowed them to print T-shirts, Bumper stickers, and buttons.
- They produced the "Make It Better" video that discussed Amendment One and making it better at Duke.
Duke Together has also generated student support through various events including a kickoff rally where they registered students to vote, talked about the harms of Amendment One, and had high-level administrators at the university talk about why they think discrimination is wrong. Several feature articles on their work details their efforts. Duke Together hosted the Vote Against project at Duke where they did photo shoots encouraging students to vote against Amendment one and kicked-off early voting with a "Rally Against Hate" with comedian Jeff Kriesler, Durham hip-hop group Toon and the Real Laww. The event brought 600 students to the polls on the first day of early voting - about 8-10 percentof the undergraduate population.
Thank you Duke Together for this amazing work. Your passion is inspiring and your organizing phenomenal. This is the way the world changes.
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