It was with concern that I read Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro’s recent Facebook post questioning whether it is “moral or ethical” for Colby students to participate in local politics. Colby students spend the better part of four years in Waterville, and the city is very much their home. We should all wish for them to be more, not less, involved. Indeed, many students choose to register to vote here, and I applaud their expression of desire for engagement in the political process.

I proudly registered to vote in Waterville during my time as a Colby student in the mid 1990s. Upon exiting the polls during my first election, however, I was followed by someone with a clipboard who wished to know my name in order to contest my vote. Although it felt like harassment at the time, it didn’t deter me from doing my civic duty in subsequent elections. Nor did it discourage me from settling in Waterville, which I continue to call my home. Mayor Isgro refers to Waterville as “Our City,” sometimes in a context that seems to imply that not everyone truly belongs here. To all Colby students, I say you do belong. You are my neighbors and my friends. Your voices are most welcome here.

Matthew Russ


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