Elect Her-Campus Women Win returning to Lewisburg, program seeks to change the face of politics

Elect Her-Campus Women Win, the only program that trains women students to run for student government and future political office, will head to the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) in January for the second year in a row.

A joint program of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Running Start, Elect Her will be offered at a total of 50 sites around the nation and Jamaica. All enrolled WVSOM students, as well as interested Greenbrier East and Greenbrier West high school students and New River Community and Technical College students are invited to register for the free training designed to encourage political engagement.

Elect Her includes a focus on the need for an increased number of women to run for elected office and is open to both female and male students. WVSOM is the only institution in West Virginia to host Elect Her in 2015.

The training, which includes a light breakfast, lunch and reception, will take place from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Jan. 10, on the WVSOM campus. Pre-registration is required by Dec. 15 at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ElectHer2015.

“We are thrilled to host Elect Her in West Virginia,” said Rebecca Morrow, WVSOM director of student affairs. “This program provides a great opportunity for students who are interested in running for office, either on campus or beyond, to hone and practice their campaign skills.”

Of the thousands of Elect Her alumnae, many have taken the skills and tools they learned from the leadership training program and used it to launch successful campaigns for student government positions and even local office. This year, Elect Her will reach 13 new schools in five new states, including Iowa, one of four states that have yet to elect a woman to either chamber of Congress.

“We are thrilled with the growth of Elect Her. We want to change the face of politics. The fact that there are four states that have never sent a woman to Capitol Hill only tells part of the story. Nearly half of all the states have yet to elect a woman governor or senator,” said Kate Farrar, AAUW’s vice president of campus leadership programs. “Bottom line: We need to close the leadership gap. After all, having women in public office is critical to the health, safety and prosperity of a nation.”

The program is being funded through a successful grant proposal submitted by the WVSOM Office of Student Affairs and the WVSOM Delta Omega student organization. For more information, contact the WVSOM Office of Student Affairs at 304-793-6591.