Heather Mottau’s ice hockey season at Northeastern University is just beginning, but the other team she is a part of has been in full swing since August. The native of Milton, Massachusetts, assembled a “Jock the Vote” campaign team to encourage Northeastern students to register to vote.
Jock the Vote was born during Mottau’s summer internship with Student PIRG – short for Public Interest Research Group – which is America’s oldest and largest nonpartisan youth voter mobilization program. As she learned more about the youth vote during her internship, the political science major came up with the idea to use her teammates and other Northeastern athletics teams to spread the word about the importance of the youth vote.
By using the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee on campus, Mottau was able to get student-athletes from different athletics teams together to work toward a common goal. The Jock the Vote group assembled a video promoting the campaign and explaining the benefits of casting a vote. Campaign team members also have distributed T-shirts and voter registration cards, and they are sponsoring a voter registration event this semester.
For Mottau and her fellow student-athletes, the dedication and effort necessary to run a campaign is comparable to the time and energy spent on the playing field and in the classroom.
“As an athlete working out every day and working toward a goal, a campaign is the same thing,” Mottau said. “You really have to work on it every single day to move forward.”
This year, the campaign team’s goal is to spread the word about Jock the Vote and get as many Northeastern students registered as possible. Moving forward, Mottau aims to expand Jock the Vote nationwide by providing tool kits to any campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.