Campus Vote Initiative Programs
While an appropriate goal for higher education is to encourage student civic engagement all year, every year, the occurrence of a national election presents a powerful opportunity for generating political enthusiasm and engagement on campus.
When designing a program around Youth Voting, it’s important to outline the goals in the beginning and chart the success of the various strategies used to achieve the goals. A measurable goal is total registrations. Set a number or a percentage of the student body to register, and track progress towards reaching (and exceeding) that goal.
Campus Compact contacted representatives from more than 100 campuses across the nation to identify voting campaigns that would serve as effective models for encouraging student civic engagement. Although the overwhelming majority of campuses reported some voting activity, the following models were chosen for their comprehensive and multifaceted approaches. Some of these campaigns were initiated by individual students or student groups; some were the projects of committed faculty members; some were sponsored by administrators; and still others grew out of the efforts of a coalition involving all of these groups.
It should be noted that although these campaigns took place in the context of a national presidential election, many of the strategies that they utilized are also appropriate for use in mid-term state or local elections.
- Volunteer to Campaign – Baldwin-Wallace College
- 26,000 New Registered Voters – Eastern Oregon University
- Find Your Voice / Make Your Choice – Central Michigan University
- Oxy Votes – Occidental College
- Forming coalitions to register voters – San Francisco State University
- Connecting service with voting – Penn State University
- Brown University – a president’s memo to students
- Brevard Community College – “Political Action Day”
- University of Wisconsin Milwaukee – a freshman seminar course focused on voting with a service component
- Liberty University cancels class on Election Day
- Groups at Portland State University have set a goal of getting at least 85% of the campus registered to vote