“Political engagement is a matter of campus climate.” Furthermore, “politically engaged institutions support political conversations across the campus and in the classroom.” Hosting campus conversations about your NSLVE voting reports is a beginning. Additionally, employing deliberative dialogue techniques like National Issues Forums can voter education and engagement efforts on campus.
From Election Imperatives:
Talk politics across campus.
Use NSLVE data, electoral controversies, policy issues, social conflicts, and campus concerns to increase and improve skills in intergroup and controversial issue discussions, and to reinforce norms of shared responsibility, inclusion, and free expression. Elections, including the NSLVE voting data, provide countless opportunities to engage the entire campus community in well-organized and facilitated discussions. Cultivate a cadre of trained facilitators and structures for supporting campus-wide discussions.
IDHE’s Talking Politics: Guide for Campus Conversations about your Voting Rights provides a roadmap for convening dialogues about your campus climate that is useful in all phases of electoral engagement.
For more resources, visit https://tischcollege.tufts.edu/sites/default/files/Politics%20365.pdf
Deliberative dialogues are structured conversations that offer a way to talk about important issues and wrestle with associated hard choices and differing viewpoints. Deliberative Dialogues are premised upon the recognition of strengths in other peoples’ positions, showing concern for others, temporarily suspending one’s own beliefs, searching for a common understanding, and relying on the participants’ collective knowledge and experiences to arrive at better solutions.
Deliberative dialogues can be used as a civic tool to respond to electoral issues nationally as well as locally. Although faculty facilitate dialogues at some institutions, many believe that the training and use of student facilitators is central to deliberative dialogues as builds civic skills. Training is essential and training materials are available in the resources section.
Words of Advice for Conducting Deliberative Dialogue Forums:
- Develop Informed Voters through Candidate and Issue Forums
- Remove the Mystery of Voting for Community College Students
- Employ National Issues Forums to Talk Politics on Campus and Community
- Increase and Improve Classroom Issue Discussions Across Discipline
Examples of NIF Issue Guides most used in Electoral Engagement:
Training Resources and Guides: https://www.nifi.org/
“Students do care. A large number of students have newly become legal adults. They are eager to participate in civically engaged projects but are unsure and hesitant. When talking to students especially newly graduated high schoolers they expressed a desire to vote and perhaps had already registered but knew little else about the process such as who were the candidates and what were the issues. Initially this made them hesitate to commit to voting; however, after attending the different education events we put on they felt like they either could or knew where to research in order make an informed decision. We were also able to provide students with voter educational information such as where to find their polling place, how to find out who the candidates were, and what propositions were on the ballot. Knowledge empowered students to confidently exercise their right to vote.”
-Duane Oakes, Mesa Community College, AZ