As Villanovans, we are often encouraged to “Ignite Change” and embody Mahatma Gandhi's renowned words of wisdom, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Villanova University is proud to support its determined, passionate and well-rounded students in their academic and future endeavors wherever their paths may lead. Traditions like the St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service guide new and returning students alike to ignite positive change on Villanova’s campus, in Philadelphia and in surrounding communities.
Matthew Clarkin, a Junior from Morristown, New Jersey, epitomizes the passionate and articulate college student. Clarkin, a Political Science Major and Irish Studies Minor, continues to ignite change within the Villanova community. As a Class Senator in Villanova’s Student Government Association (SGA), a member of the Freshman Orientation staff, and a member of Blue Key Society, Clarkin is committed to “make change on a small and large level,” encouraging Villanovans to find their voice not only on campus, but also in local politics. Passionate about helping others voice their opinion, Clarkin advises Villanova students to register to vote.
This past year, Clarkin, along with other members of SGA, was able to create a new special committee on Student Voter Empowerment within SGA, Let’s Vote Nova. Although Clarkin and other members began spreading the word only two weeks ago, Let’s Vote Nova has become a significant presence here on campus. The organization’s mission, as explained by Clarkin, is to “keep students engaged with the local community” and help them find their voice in local politics, as well as registering to vote during their four years at Villanova.
As I interviewed Clarkin, I was able to participate in door knocking, a volunteer opportunity that involves speaking with students in residence halls and encouraging them to register to vote online. Clarkin also passed out informative papers to students that included an explanation of the importance of their role in local politics and a step-by-step process of how they can register to vote online.
Clarkin is an inspiration to all who meet him. His positive attitude and dedication to Let’s Vote Nova and politics is simply contagious. In just five years, Clarkin plans to live in Washington D.C., work for the United States Government, and possibly run for Congress.
When asked what he would like to say to Villanova students, Clarkin emphasized the importance of being “curious about what’s going on in local elections because they control our day to day life here on campus.” Clarkin wants students to feel comfortable engaging with the local community and volunteering for Let’s Vote Nova.
As Clarkin remarks, “Register, participate in local politics, and vote, Villanova!”