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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Todd McLeish 874-7892

URI students launch Raise Your Voice
campaign with bus trip to meet with governor

KINGSTON, R.I. -- February 20, 2003 -- University of Rhode Island students are joining more than 100,000 college students from across the country to launch the Raise Your Voice campaign, a national effort to encourage students to speak out on issues important to their future.

The highlight of the URI campaign will take place on March 3 when two busloads of students will travel to the statehouse to meet with Gov. Don Carcieri to discuss a variety of issues.

The national campaign was launched on 600 college and university campuses across the country during the week of Feb. 16, providing students with the opportunity to learn about critical public issues and make their opinion heard by leaders at all levels.

Among the Raise Your Voice events planned by URI students is a fundraising event for the "Wheels on the Bus: Argentina Crisis Relief Project." The students are raising money to help college students in Argentina purchase bus passes. Tuition at Argentina universities is free, but due to the economic crisis in that Latin American country, students cannot afford the price of bus passes to get to school.

Other Raise Your Voice events at URI during the month of March include a performance of the bilingual play, The Salsa Club, and the launching of the URIde community bike share program. Additional details will be announced soon.

"In the last election, no one was talking to college students. But the issues our leaders are deciding right now will have a tremendous impact on young people’s futures. The Raise Your Voice campaign is about getting students across the country to come together and show that our generation has the knowledge, motivation and skills necessary to be active citizens," said Lauren Partel, a freshman pharmacy major from East Stroudsburg, Pa. "We need to let our leaders know that they can’t just talk about us. They need to talk to us."

"Colleges and universities have always played a pivotal role in securing a strong American democracy. Raise Your Voice will give the youth of America a platform on which to voice their concerns for issues that they care about and build an even stronger democracy," said URI President Robert L. Carothers.

The Raise Your Voice campaign is sponsored by Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 850 college and university presidents. During the campaign, students, faculty and community partners from across the country are working together to plan activities focusing on increasing student voice and participation in all realms of civic life – from voting to volunteering in the community.

"It is our hope that the campus dialogues and other activities are just the start of many opportunities for students to voice their opinions," said Maggie Grove of Campus Compact. "We are working with campuses nationwide to establish the forum for students to take responsibility in their communities and participate in the shaping of the future of U.S. democracy."

For Further Information: Lauren Partel 874-3108

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