The University of St. Thomas’ Center for Science and Health Professions will serve as a polling site on Election Day, Nov. 3. Anyone registered to vote in Harris County can vote there.
This will be the first year the University offers on-campus voting.
UST junior psychology major Cebriaya Bell, the president of UST’s Black Student Union, is the brains behind making UST a polling location; she said the idea came to her this past summer following the death of George Floyd, which prompted civil rights protests across the country.
Bell said she wanted to make voting more accessible to Harris County residents due to the limited voting locations she saw in the last presidential election.
“There is a heavily populated black community surrounding UST, so we wanted to relieve the effects of voter suppression for that community,” Bell said.
This year, Harris County has 806 polling sites operating on Election Day.
Bell said the BSU first proposed the idea to UST President Richard Ludwick in July; UST Director of University Events Shannon Broussard then helped Bell through the whole process, collaborating with Harris County Clerk’s Office Precinct Judge Swandolyn Laster to make Bell’s idea a reality over the next three months.
Broussard and Bell said providing a place to vote at UST is something they would like to continue for future elections.
“I’m excited and looking forward to getting the word out that UST is really engaging our community,” Broussard said.
The organizers said they hope providing on-campus voting accessibility may help UST students become more socially conscious, preparing them in term to be mindful of the world they live in when they graduate .
“Given the state of the world, [voting] is one of the only voices we have right now, especially with minority and marginalized groups,” Bell said. “We need to be able to exercise our voice as much as we can.”
“[The students] have a voice, and we are listening,” Broussard said.
UST’s polling site will run from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Nov. 3.
Photo identification in the form of a DPS driver’s license or ID, a Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS, a United States military ID card, a United States citizenship certificate, or a United States passport are all accepted.
Face masks are also required.
More information about Election Day can be found here.